The High Court of Appeals on Tuesday postponed a decision on Balad MK Haneen Zoabi's petition decrying the Knesset sanctioning her participation in the Mavi Marmara flotilla.
Last July, the Knesset Ethics Committee punished Zoabi for participating in the Gaza flotilla, forbidding her to take part in all Knesset discussions until the end of the summer session – a decision Zoabi called “the decision of an automatic right-wing, racist majority.”
The court, convened with the presence of seven judges, completed its hearing on the matter before postponing its decision. Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon said during the hearing that the Knesset sanctions were proportionate and did not cause Zoabi significant harm.
Following the hearing, Zoabi said that the flotilla was legal and humanitarian, and that she would participate in similar flotillas should they occur in the future, Israel Radio reported.
Zoabi told the committee in July that she rejected the complaints as “spiteful,” adding that she had participated in “legitimate political activities, which are the right of every citizen, and certainly of a Knesset member.
“I upheld my right to political activity and freedom of expression, and did not break the law,” she declared.
The committee wrote that it viewed Zoabi’s participation in the flotilla as a “very severe” violation.
“Participating in the flotilla – intended to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, which is part of the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas – is an action that harms the state’s security and is illegitimate for a Knesset member,” the committee wrote.
The committee also pointed out that this was the second time Zoabi had traveled abroad with funding from an outside source, without permission.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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