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Israel Jails Frenchman for 7 Years for Smuggling Palestinian Guns

FILE - French consulate worker Romain Franck, a French employee of France's Consulate in Jerusalem, covers his face during a hearing at the district court in in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, March 19, 2018.

An Israeli court sentenced a French citizen on Monday to seven years' imprisonment under a plea bargain in which he confessed to using a diplomatic car to help Palestinian gun smugglers.

Romain Franck, a former employee of the French consulate in Jerusalem, was arrested last year and accused by Israeli prosecutors of receiving $7,600 for transporting the contraband between the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

He was not charged with complicity in terrorism, sparing him a potentially harsher sentence. Also arrested in the case was Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

Beesheba District Court said that Franck, who was 23 when indicted, would spend seven years in jail, including time already served. He also received an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a 30,000 shekel (7,420 euro) fine.

A French Embassy spokesman declined comment on the sentencing.