Israeli Arab lawmaker indicted

AP News
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Posted: Dec 26, 2011 11:37 AM
Israeli Arab lawmaker indicted

Israeli prosecutors have indicted an Arab member of parliament on charges of visiting an enemy country and meeting foreign agents.

The indictment charges that in 2007, Said Nafaa visited Syria and met with leaders of a violent Palestinian militant group.

Nafaa told Israel Radio Monday he would fight the charges. Nafaa, a member of the Druse minority who belongs to the Israeli-Arab Balad Party, called the indictment a "witch hunt."

Nafaa says he visited Syria for religious reasons.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. It was not clear whether Nafaa is protected by parliamentary immunity.

Former Balad Party leader Azmi Bishara fled Israel in 2007 after he was accused of providing intelligence to Lebanon's Hezbollah militants during a monthlong war with Israel the year before.