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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Hamas member wanted in Israel convicted in Philadelphia ordered to be deported

Hamas member wanted in Israel convicted in Philadelphia ordered to be deported

September 9, 2005

U.S. Hamas member may be deported

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1126232464330

Palestinian convicted in Israel of membership in the terrorist organization Hamas faces deportation after serving nearly a year in prison for a visa violation, a newspaper reported Friday.

Atef Hasan Ismail Idais, 28, was sentenced by a judge on Thursday to a year in prison, which he has served since his arrest in September 2004. He could be released as early as Friday.

Upon his release he will be delivered to immigration authorities who intend to deport him, Assistant US Attorney Nancy Winter told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Idais was arrested last year for making a false statement on a US visa application. He pleaded no contest and faced up to six months in prison under sentencing guidelines, but US District Judge John Padova said the case was unusual because of his terrorism conviction.

Winter accused Idais of lying repeatedly and trying to manipulate the court and immigration service. He had entered the United States on a student visa, but he never attended college. He was charged with failing to disclose a 1999 conviction in Israel for throwing stones, disturbing the peace, and membership in Hamas.

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Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005



Convicted Hamas member sentenced
The Phila. resident got a year in jail for falsifying a visa. He
denied being a member of the group.
By John Shiffman
Inquirer Staff Writer

A 28-year-old Palestinian convicted in Israel of membership in the
militant organization Hamas was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday by a
federal judge in Philadelphia.

Atef Hasan Ismail Idais had lived in Philadelphia since he arrived
from the Palestinian territories in 2000. He was arrested Sept. 9, 2004, on a
charge of falsifying a visa application and has been in federal prison since.

When Idais is released, possibly today, he will be delivered to
immigration authorities, who intend to deport him, said Assistant U.S. Attorney
Nancy Winter.

Under advisory federal sentencing guidelines, Idais faced zero to
six months in prison. But U.S. District Judge John Padova said the case was
unusual, given Idais' conviction in Israel.

Idais smiled as the judge delivered the sentence. He had pleaded no
contest to making a false statement on a U.S. visa application.

Winter said that Idais had lied repeatedly and tried to manipulate
the court and immigration service.

Idais entered the United States on a student visa but never attended
college. He was charged with failing to disclose a 1999 conviction in Israel for
throwing stones, disturbing the peace, and membership in Hamas.

On the witness stand, Idais said, "I have never been a member of
Hamas."

He cried as he testified that Israeli officials coerced a confession
through torture, tying to him to a child's chair in a windowless cell for weeks.

"I ended up feeling like I'm not feeling alive but not dead," Idais
testified.

His lawyer, Robert E.H. Miller, said the conviction in Israel was
"not worth of the paper it is printed on."

Idais testified that he had planned to attend the University of
Toledo or Temple University but could not because his family ran out of money.

Idais is married to an American citizen. They own a home in
Philadelphia and have 3-year-old and 18-month-old daughters.


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Contact staff writer John Shiffman at 215-854-2658 or
jshiffman@phillynews.com.

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