Coalition lawmakers called for there to be consequences for Arab MKs’ statements and actions in opposition of the military operation.
MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid) wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein on Tuesday, calling to disqualify the Balad Party from the Knesset and remove its MKs’ parliamentary immunity.
Kariv said there must be an investigation of Balad’s funding from abroad and of any connection former Balad MK Azmi Bishara may have with Israelis.
Bishara fled Israel and resigned from the Knesset in 2007 during a police investigation of his contacts with enemy countries.
Kariv accused Balad of being sponsored by the Qatari royal family, which gives large amounts of funding to Hamas.
“Operation Protective Edge revealed to the world where [Qatari] money goes – to a system of terrorism. Instead of digging sewers and tunnels for trains… Hamas leaders decided to dig terror tunnels.
Instead of building hospitals and schools, they hid rockets and missiles in civilian homes in an attempt to destroy the State of Israel,” Kariv wrote.
The Yesh Atid MK said it is the Knesset’s responsibility to act to disqualify Balad and remove its legislators’ immunity, “because they are protected by Qatar.”
Balad chairman MK Jamal Zahalka said Kariv’s claims show that she is racist and opportunistic.
“Apparently Yifat Kariv sees there is no future for Yesh Atid [which means ‘there is a future’] and is trying to earn a place in the extreme Right,” Zahalka said. “This is political belligerence and an attempt to gain popularity by inciting against Balad.”
Zahalka did not address Kariv’s statements directly or mention whether or not his party receives funding from Qatar.
Also Tuesday, Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev called for MK Taleb Abu Arar (UAL-Ta’al) to be put on trial for organizing an illegal protest in the South.
Regev sent letters to Edelstein, Weinstein and the Knesset Ethics Committee, saying that he organized a mass demonstration in Rahat on Monday despite Home Front Command and police instructions not to do so.
“[Abu Arar] broke the law and endangered people’s lives,” Regev wrote.
“If a missile had fallen during the rally and God forbid demonstrators were hurt, MK Abu Arar would be the first to blame the government,” she added. “It cannot be that MKs are above the law.
The law is the law, for Jewish and Arab lawmakers.”
Abu Arar did not respond to the accusations by press time.