Israeli Druze lawmaker indicted for visiting Syria


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s attorney general said he will file an indictment against a Druze lawmaker for taking a trip to Syria.

Menachem Mazuz said Sunday he will file an indictment against Knesset member Said Naffa of the Balad Party over a 2007 trip to Syria in which he allegedly met with Talal Naji, deputy head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Knesset member also allegedly visited the offices of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal in an attempt to meet, though Meshal was not there at the time.

The charges will include contacting a foreign agent, unlawful travel to an enemy state and aiding others in unlawful travel to an enemy state, according to reports.

Naffaa organized a trip to Syria for 280 people, including many Druze religious leaders, Mazuz will charge, according to Ha’aretz. When the interior ministry denied the group permission to travel to the enemy state, the group proceeded with its plans anyway, according to the indictment, Ynet reported.

The group visited Druze holy sites, and was assisted during their trip by former Knesset member Azmi Bishara, who left Israel permanently in March 2007 after being investigated for traveling to Syria and Lebanon and meeting with terrorist leaders.

The indictment will be issued in Nazareth District court.

The Knesset passed an amendment last year barring people who travel to enemy states from serving in government.

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