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Accused Palestinian spy released from jail

Sept. 13, 2010 7:17 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 15, 2010 12:28 A.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man convicted of "providing services to an unauthorized organization" and sentenced to seven months in jail was released months early on Monday, Israeli media reported.

Dr. Omar Said, who was arrested in April on suspicion of being involved in a "security-related affair," told the Israeli news site Ynet upon leaving the prison, "My release proves what I have been claiming from the very beginning, that this was a political arrest. When it comes to Arabs, [Israeli authorities are] always quick to pull the trigger."

Said added: "They kept on questioning me about [Palestinian human rights advocate and accused terrorist] Amir Makhoul, as if we were members of Hezbollah and I was the one who recruited him.

"They quickly realized that they had gone too far."

He says there is a difference between investigations against Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.

"When it comes to suspicions against Jews, like [Israeli settler and accused terrorist] Haim Pearlman, although the Shin Bet know for sure that he murdered Arabs, they let him use the right to remain silent and meet a lawyer. I was not allowed to remain silent or meet with a lawyer."

Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, Said's lawyer, told the news site that he knew "it was a joke" immediately after the arrest. Said was to appear before the parole committee on 11 August, but the prosecutor said Shin Bet delayed the appearance, Abu Hussein said.

The committee reportedly decided to deduct one-third from his sentence. According to the lawyer, the Shin Bet and State Prosecutor's Office expressed their objection to the early release.
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