Israeli-Arab lawmaker stripped of immunity


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli-Arab lawmaker charged with illegally visiting an enemy country was stripped of his parliamentary immunity.

Said Nafa of the Balad Party was stripped of his immunity by the Knesset Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 9 to 2.

Nafa, who is Druze, was charged in December with visiting Syria without permission and meeting with foreign agents. The lawmaker had organized a visit of 300 Druze religious leaders to Syria in September 2007.

Syria is designated an enemy country, and Israelis can visit there only if they receive permission from the Interior Ministry. The Druze religious leaders had been denied permission; Nafa never requested permission, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Nafa reportedly met with Talal Naji, deputy secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and was scheduled to meet Hamas leader-in-exile  Khaled Mashaal during the visit, according to the indictment. 

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