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Arab American Convicted of Aiding Hamas

<i> From Associated Press</i>

An Israeli military court has convicted an Arab American of channeling funds to Islamic militants and sentenced him to five years in prison.

Mohammed Salah, 41, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Chicago area, was arrested in January, 1993, and had been on trial behind closed doors for the past year.

A military court in the West Bank town of Ramallah sentenced Salah on Monday after convicting him of belonging to the Islamic opposition group Hamas and of bringing in funds for the outlawed group, a military spokesman said. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Israel accused Salah and another naturalized American arrested at the same time, Mohammed Jarad, of funneling $650,000 to Hamas activists. Jarad, also from the Chicago area, was released in July, 1993, after serving a six-month sentence.

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The indictment accused Salah of making several payments, including $96,000 in August, 1992, earmarked for the establishment of a Hamas armed force. About $100,000 was found in his Jerusalem hotel room.

Salah claimed he came to distribute alms collected from Palestinian Americans.


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