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The military court sentenced the man behind Palestinian arms ship "Karine A" to 20 years in prison on Sunday, a month after finding him guilty of arms dealing and establishing connections with a foreign agent.

According to Army Radio Fuad Shubaki, who was in charge of finances in the PA at the time, was also convicted of engaging with external hostile elements, supplying 1,000 tons of weapons for millions of dollars, and of funding terror activity carried out by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

The military prosecutor requested that the 70-year-old Shubaki, a former aide to Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, be sent to 25 years in prison, citing the severity of his crimes.

The court, however, sentenced Shubaki to a reduced sentence, keeping in mind his advanced age and faltering health.

Shubaki was also received a five-year suspended sentence.

The "Karine A" was captured by Israeli naval commandos in the Red Sea in January 3 2002.

The ship was found to be carrying 50 tons of weaponry destined for the Palestinian Authority, including rockets and missiles that could have reached Ben-Gurion International Airport and major Israeli cities from PA territory.

Israeli leaders argued at the time that the smuggling operation had been initiated by the PA and had been carried out with the consent of Yasser Arafat.

Israel also pointed to the involvement of Iran in the supply of the weapons. Both the PA and Iran denied any involvement.