Israel convicts Al Jazeera reporter over Hamas contacts


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Kabul bureau chief of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera network was convicted of conspiring with Hamas to commit a crime against Israel.

Samir Allawi was arrested by Israel Aug. 9 while crossing from the West Bank to Jordan on his way back to Afghanistan. He had spent three weeks visiting his family in a West Bank town near Nablus.

Under a plea bargain, Allawi was convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime against the State of Israel over his contact with and service to Hamas. As part of the deal, he was released from prison and will pay a $1,400 fine.

Allawi told Israel’s Shin Bet security service that he was recruited by Hamas in Pakistan in 1993, and served as part of a group that supervises Hamas institutions and directs their activities.

He served in various capacities in Hamas and offered to use his position as an Al Jazeera reporter to further Hamas’ goals.

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