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Israel orders suspicious French arms traders who have been brought to justice



A French consulate official accused of smuggling weapons from Gaza to the West Bank remains in detention during the trial, an Israeli court said Sunday.

Romain Franck, a French citizen, was indicted last month, along with several Palestinian suspects, for joining a weapons network that sold weapons to arms dealers between November and February.

According to prosecutors Franck used reduced security checks for consular vehicles to transport the weapons from the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet said that Franck was motivated by money, with the indictment that he would receive a total of about $ 5,500.

On Sunday, judge Nasir Abu Taha ordered the Beersheba District Court to allow Franck to remain in detention for long after his attorney Abed Abu Amir agreed that there was "alleged evidence" against his client, read court documents.

Speaking to reporters after listening Abu Amir said that Franck was detained because he could not meet the conditions for a house arrest: two guards who stayed with him around the clock.

"We have one person and he can not stay with him all the time," he said. "We hope to find another guarantor soon, and we can save him."

Abu Amir said the prosecutors had yet to share all their material with the defense, but so far no evidence has been provided.

Her case, he said, "was based on a confession he and the arrested Palestinians had given."

"You have not even found a single bullet," said Abu Amir. "There is no weapon, nothing."

Those entering and leaving the Gaza Strip through the Erez border with Israel are subjected to stringent security checks by Israeli authorities, but these measures are relieved for diplomatic visitors.

Home to two million people, is sealed off from Israel by walls and fencing.

Israeli and Palestinian militants in Gaza have had three wars since 2008.

The Israeli authorities regularly conduct operations to confiscate weapons in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

Frenchman Romain Franck (R), a French Consulate worker, and Palestinians Moufak al-Ajluni (L) and Mohamed Katout (C) appear in the Israeli city in Beersheba on 19 March 2018 on charges of indictment Smuggling from Gaza indicted


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