(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) should be tried for saying kidnapping is not terrorism and is a way to “wake up Israel” to the Palestinians’ cause, MK Danny Danon (Likud) wrote in a petition submitted to the High Court of Justice Wednesday.
In June, following the kidnapping of three teens, Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, in Gush Etzion, but before they were found murdered, Zoabi said in an interview with Radio Tel Aviv that Palestinians “are forced to use these means until Israel will wake up a little, until Israeli citizens and society will wake up and feel the suffering of the other.”
The following day, Zoabi stood by her statement, saying “there is consensus in our [Palestinian] nation that a battle against the occupation is legitimate.
As long as Israel has a policy of terror, it is difficult for me to say [the kidnapping was terrorism].”
“[Israel] encourages kidnapping as long as it ignores the context of occupation,” she said.
Danon’s petition says Zoabi’s statements are incitement to violence or terrorism, which are against the law.
“Law enforcement must file charges against MK Zoabi for her statements as soon as possible,” he said. “This is not the first time that Zoabi’s activities as a MK sparked protests, newspaper headlines and media reports about her activities and condemnation of the State of Israel and support for terrorist organizations calling to destroy [Israel].”
Zoabi courted controversy throughout this summer.
The Balad MK expressed support for Hamas rocket attacks on Israel in articles and appearances on Hamas channel Al-Aksa TV throughout Operation Protective Edge.
During a hearing in a Nazareth courthouse in July, Zoabi called Israeli-Arab police officers traitors, implied threats against them and told a protesting crowd to spit in their faces.
Last week, police recommended that Zoabi be indicted for inciting against, threatening and insulting a public servant.
Since Zoabi is a MK, the final decision about whether or not to indict her falls to Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein.
The Knesset Ethics Committee banned Zoabi from all parliamentary activity except for voting for six months in light of the three aforementioned incidents, following complaints from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and many other MKs.
Then, in August, she and Balad’s two other MKs flew to Qatar, a major Hamas sponsor.
The trip was paid for by a think tank run by Azmi Bishara, the Balad founder and former MK who fled Israel in 2007 as he was under investigation for giving information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.
The Balad lawmakers did not report in advance that they were traveling and who funded the trip to the Knesset Ethics Committee, as required by Knesset regulations.