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Seven Israeli Arabs Convicted As Spies, Given Heavy Sentences

Seven of eight Israeli Arab intellectuals were found guilty in District Court here today of being members of a spy ring working for the Syrian intelligence services, and were given heavy sentences ranging from 14 years imprisonment to two years. The eighth of the accused was acquitted.

The members of the alleged spy ring were arrested two years ago. All are schoolteachers or intellectual leaders of other type among the Arab villages in the Galilee. Israeli security services, which arrested the members of the ring and testified for the prosecution, described the group as “the most dangerous batch of spies ever arrested in Israel.”

The stiffest sentence, to 14 years in prison, was meted out to the man accused of being the ring leader, Hassin Yassin, 24, a schoolteacher. A 12-year sentence was imposed on Ibrahim Pahwamy, 32, secretary of the Communist Party branch in the village of Tamra. The other sentences ranged downward from 10 years to six, four and two years’ imprisonment.