Haneen Zoabi speaks at Central Elections Committee hearing to ban her from running for Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Balad MK Haneen Zoabi accused Israeli security forces of unnecessarily shooting and killing the Israeli Arab man who perpetrated the shooting attack in Tel Aviv last week which killed two Israelis.
"The shooting and killing of Nashat Milhem is an execution. In spite of the fact that the security forces could have arrested him, they were directed to execute him, because the matter at hand is the reputation of the police state. The goal is to satisfy public opinion. We need to put on trial those who shot and killed him," Zoabi said Tuesday in an interview she gave to the Palestinian channel "Musawa."
Zoabi's comments came in the wake of the shooting and killing of suspected terrorist Milhem
after a week-long manhunt. Milhem fled to his home town of Arara after opening fire on a Tel Aviv pub with a semi-automatic weapon, and later killing an Israeli Arab taxi driver. Israel Police said that security forces shot Milhem in self-defense after he had opened fire at them, a claim that Zoabi appeared to reject.
"What is important now is the Palestinian dialogue, that is to say that all of the Palestinians in Israel need to self-reflect. We are emphasizing again that we have explicitly chosen the political struggle, and that violence is not our way," highlighted Mk Zoabi. "Our way is political struggle. We do not need to provide testimonial of good character. All of the television news agencies in Israel are putting us on trial, and they are forcing us to provide a testimonial of good character, to the point of self-humiliation."
Zoabi added that "we do not know the background of the attack that was carried out by Nashat Milhem. Maybe it was criminally motivated, maybe it was motivated by his mental state. Someone wants to close the file on this case. It is in our interest that this case be opened. Where is the security footage from the cameras near the cafe in Tel Aviv? I would have thought that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) would have wanted to arrest him alive, after a week-long manhunt, in order to understand how he succeeded in evading the police and the Shin Bet who can usually apprehend anyone they want."
The MK addressed efforts to repossess illegal arms, saying, "The Israel Police started to address the illegal arms concerns in the Arab sector only after a Jew was wounded and there was use of a weapon in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of times weapons have been used in the Arab sector, and in one of the villages in the northern cluster of Arab towns in Israel, commonly referred to as "The Triangle," 70 people were murdered in recent years, and only one perpetrator has faced a trial. Over all these years, the weapons problem and surging violence in the Arab sector has been met by apathy because it has forced us to deal with our own issues rather than fight for our rights. How many times has the Arab leadership requested that the police come into Arab towns and seize the illegal weapons, and nobody blamed them for their incompetence in dealing with crime in the Arab sector. It has become evident that it is not in Israel's interest to seize these weapons. Netanyahu speaks of two nations, and I am speaking about two interests: The concerns of the Jews and the concerns of the Arabs."