By Kaamil Ahmed
An Arab lawmaker officially resigned from Israeli Knesset (parliament) on Sunday ahead of a two-year prison sentence for smuggling cell phones into an Israeli prison.
Basel Ghattas shared his resignation letter on social media after announcing on Thursday that he would step down as part of a plea deal made with Israel's state prosecutor's office.
After he voluntarily surrendered his parliamentary immunity last December, Ghattas was interrogated about smuggling cell phones to Palestinian political prisoners.
"What I did was motivated by my conscience and humanitarian feelings towards the prisoners," he said in a statement confirming the plea deal last week. "I am prepared to take full responsibility."
He added that the plea bargain arrangement would include different charges than those filed with the Knesset in January by Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
"The serious security accusations were omitted from the new indictment," he said in the statement. -