Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation against Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi for calling for a “popular intifada” against Israel.

Netanyahu, who said that Israel would not tolerate incitement from within and will act against it from all directions, quoted from an interview Zoabi granted this week to a Hamas newspaper.

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“Hundreds of thousands of worshipers should go to the Al-Aksa Mosque to stand up against Israel's conspiracy to condone violence against east Jerusalem residents,” Netanyahu quoted Zoabi as saying.


“Today there are only actions of individuals, and what is needed is popular support,” Netanyahu quoted Zoabi as saying. “If individual attacks will continue without popular support they will die out in a matter of days – thousands of people going out will turn these events into a true intifada.”

Netanyahu called this “wild, lying incitement and a call to violence. I am not willing to let this pass.”

Zoabi said in response to Netanyahu's move that she would not be deterred by the "threats" and that she would continue her "just struggle for equality for all."


"I reject and I recoil from Mr. Netanyahu's crazed words of incitement and from the Right that tries to trample everything in its way. His speech [the prime minister's] demonstrates a moral and political bankruptcy," Zoabi said.

Zoabi said that currently there is no difference between Netanyahu and the right-wing extremist bullies.  

"What is happening now is that Netanyahu has turned a national conflict into a street fight and continues with his criminal and dangerous policy."


Zoabi went on to call on the prime minister and his government to resign.

Netanyahu also said on Sunday that he would convene a meeting later in the day to discuss steps to be taken against the Islamic Movement, which he said was responsible – along with the Hamas and the Palestinian Authority – for the current wave of terrorism.

Regarding his approval of the mobilization of 16 Border Police companies over the weekend, Netanyahu said “it is preferable to mobilize a massive force early to deal with possible developments, rather than to mobilize it later after events.”

Netanyahu also said that the government will approve legislation setting minimum prison sentences for those throwing rocks and firebombs, and fining minors and their parents.