A-G closes case against Israeli flotilla members

Weinstein cites evidential, legal difficulties as reasons for dropping criminal case against suspects, including MK Haneen Zoabi, who says MKs who incited against her should apologize.

December 22, 2011 16:53
1 minute read.
MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad)

MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced Thursday that he has decided to close the criminal case against the Israeli citizens, including MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad), who took part in the flotilla aimed at breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip in May of 2010.

The flotilla, which originated from Turkey, was boarded by IDF naval commandos, who were subsequently attacked by activists on one of the ships involved, the Mavi Marmara. Nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed during the raid on the Mavi Marmara, the only ship involved in the flotilla on which the IDF encountered violence from the activists. The Israeli citizens being investigated were not suspected of attacking IDF soldiers, but rather of illegally attempting to enter Gaza.

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Zoabi: ‘Flotilla’s message: we are not afraid of you'
Haneen Zoabi suspended from Knesset over Gaza flotilla

Weinstein cited evidentiary and legal difficulties in the case as reasons for closing the case against the Israelis involved in the flotilla.

Zoabi, was censured by the Knesset Ethics Committee for her participation in the flotilla in July, being suspended from plenum and committee discussions for a period of more than two weeks at the end of the Knesset's 2011 Summer Session.

The committee wrote that it viewed Zoabi’s participation in the flotilla as a “very severe” violation.

Zoabi  reacted Wednesday to Weinstein's decision to close the case against her, saying it was "expected" and she was owed an apology.

"I am not at all surprised the case against the flotilla participants was closed, including the case against me," Zoabi stated.

Zoabi said that the decision "proves what I have been saying all along - my participation in the flotilla was a political, completely legal act."

The Balad MK attacked Knesset members who "incited" against her for her participation in the flotilla, saying they owed her an apology. "I don't expect an apology, but at least they should do some soul searching on the issue."

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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