Israel condemns Palestinian woman for contacts with Hezbollah

JERUSALEM (AP) – An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem to 30 months in prison, probation and a fine after admitting to helping Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for several years.

In a plea bargain, Yasmine Jaber was sentenced after admitting charges of association with a foreign agent, membership of a terrorist organization and other terrorism-related charges.

The indictment said she was in contact with two Hezbollah agents on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. She was invited by one of them to attend a conference on the Palestinian cause in Beirut. She visited in 2015 and again in 2016 in violation of Israeli law, and maintained contact with Hezbollah operatives for several years, the statement said.

The Jerusalem District Court judge said in her ruling that she was handing down a relatively lenient sentence because Jaber admitted her actions, took responsibility and has no history. The court sentenced Jaber to 30 months in prison from August 4, 12 months probation and a fine of 5,000 shekels ($ 1,500).

In August 2020, the Shin Bet internal security service said Jaber was recruited by Hezbollah operatives at a conference in 2015 and asked to recruit others in East Jerusalem. He said she had traveled to Istanbul several times to meet with Hezbollah operatives and communicated with them via social media.

His family released a statement denying the allegations.

Israel views Hezbollah as its most immediate military threat. The two sides fought to a devastating stalemate in 2006. Since then, Hezbollah has dramatically expanded its rocket arsenal and is now believed to be capable of striking virtually anywhere in Israel.

Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and annexed it soon after, which is unrecognized by most of the international community. Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.

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