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Israel sentences Palestinian lawyer with Israeli citizenship to more than 7 years in prison

April 27, 2017 7:53 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2017 7:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian lawyer with Israeli citizenship was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in Israeli prison on Thursday after being convicted in January for allegedly transferring messages between the Hamas movement and Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel prisons, according to Israeli media.

The laweyer, Muhammad Abed, from the Palestinian town of Biina in northern Israel, was also given a one year suspended sentence and was fined 50,000 shekels ($13,760), Israeli media reported.

Lawyers in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory who work with Palestinians imprisoned by Israel are especially vulnerable to being accused of illegal activities, as almost all Palestinian political groups are considered illegal by the Israeli government.

Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Hamas -- considered a terrorist group by the Israeli government -- are usually the most vulnerable to having their rights violated in Israeli prisons, particularly being denied family visits.

Shireen Issawi, a prominent Palestinian lawyer from the village of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, was accused in 2014 along with her brother Medhat for being in contact with Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons and providing them with funds, which Israel considers “terrorism.”

Shireen and Medhat were also working with imprisoned Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in order to help them communicate with their families in the Palestinian territory.

Last year, Shireen and Medhat were sentenced to four and eight years in prison, respectively, after both were held in administrative detention -- an Israeli policy of imprisonment without charge or trial -- for two years before being sentenced.

Amjad Abu Assab, the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, said at the time that the two were detained as part of an Israeli detention campaign carried out against Palestinian lawyers in Jerusalem.
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