An Israeli court has sentenced nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu to six months in jail for violating the terms of his release.

In April, a Jerusalem regional court convicted the former nuclear technician of 14 violations of his parole, including maintaining foreign media contacts and attempting to go to the West Bank. The court handed down its sentence today, giving Vanunu time to appeal the ruling.

Vanunu spent 18 years behind bars for giving details of Israel's alleged nuclear weapons program to a British newspaper in 1986. Since his 2004 release, authorities have banned him from leaving the country and talking to foreigners without approval, arguing he could still divulge classified information.

Vanunu denies accusations that he has more secret information to tell and says he just wants to "be free."

The extent of Israel's nuclear program has been a subject of debate. The nation has never confirmed or denied having nuclear weapons, but is widely believed to have such weapons.

The country has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, making it free from United Nations inspections.

Some information for this report was provided by  AP and Reuters.