Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman sounded a defiant tone Tuesday, refusing to appear before the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on the Integration of Arab Employees in the Public Sector despite being censured by the Knesset Ethics Committee on the issue just hours earlier.

The Inquiry Committee, Liberman charged, "Has turned into [MK Ahmed Tibi's] person committee, whose primary aim is to provide him with office and spokesperson services."

"The committee has nothing to do with the status of Arab-Israelis and is doing everything possible to harm the integration of Israeli society," the foreign minister continued, "Tibi's only goal is to damage ties between Arab citizens of Israel and the resti of the public. Therefore, I will not cooperate with him."

Earlier Tuesday, the Ethics Committee reprimanded Liberman for boycotting the investigatory committee, saying his actions not only violated Israel's Basic Laws but disrespected the Knesset, its members and broke ethical rules.

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided "to issue a grave reprimand on Minister Avigdor Lieberman," and reasserted that it is his and all his party members' obligation to appear before and cooperate with Knesset committees.

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