Israeli sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for helping Syrian militants
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TEL AVIV, July 9 (RAPSI) - An Israeli of Arab descent has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for joining the Syrian opposition and fighting against President Bashar Assad, the Israeli media report.
Hikmat Massarweh, 29, has made a deal with the authorities, admitting that he had visited an enemy state and associated with foreign agents to avoid a 15-year prison sentence.
According to the investigation, he went to Syria via Turkey and was trained at one of the Syrian opposition's camps. He was detained by the Israel Security Agency (ISA), or the Shin Bet also known as Shabak, upon his return in March this year.
Massarweh claimed that he went to search for his brother who was fighting in Syria.
His lawyer believes the authorities have decided to make an example of Massarweh as a warning to any other Israeli Arabs, who make up 20% of the country's population, with a mind to going to fight in Syria.
Shin Bet representatives said that there are very few such cases.