Al-Jazeera journo, Hamas conspiracy

2011-09-27 21:17

Nablus - A Palestinian-born Al-Jazeera journalist convicted by an Israeli court of conspiring with Hamas on Tuesday denied all the charges against him.

"All the charges against me were false," Samer Allawi told AFP by phone from his hometown of Sebastia near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

"I'm not a member of any military or political group that threatens Israel," he said.

According to Israel's Shin Bet internal security service, Allawi was on Monday released under a plea bargain after being convicted by a military court of "conspiracy" on behalf of Hamas.

"He was fined, sentenced to time already served and received a suspended sentence of three years," the agency said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The Shin Bet said that Allawi, the Palestinian-born bureau chief of Al-Jazeera's Kabul office, "admitted that was recruited to Hamas in 1993, while in Pakistan".

It said he also travelled to Syria and met with senior members of Hamas's exiled political leadership, who asked him to serve as the organisation's representative in Iran.

The Shin Beit said Allawi also admitted he agreed to carry out either "military or organisational activity" for Hamas during a meeting in Dubai in 2000, and also offered to help the Islamist group through his role at Al-Jazeera.

Allawi was arrested by Israeli security officials on August 10 as he tried to cross from the West Bank into Jordan after a family visit.

His arrest came as ties between Israel and Qatar sunk to a new low with Israel's foreign ministry admitting it was angry with Doha for its support for the Islamist movement, which rules Gaza.