(photo credit: Associated Press)
Video footage proving that MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) knew that IHH activsts aboard the Mavi Marmara were armed with metal pipes was released by Army Radio on Wednesday.
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Zoabi, who was aboard the Gaza-bound ship which was part of a flotilla that aimed to break Israel's blockade of the coastal territory, had previously claimed that she was not aware that the activists were armed. The members of the Turkish organization subsequently clashed violently with IDF naval commandos.
Zoabi can be seen in one of the video clips standing side by side with
IHH members armed with metal pipes while IDF soldiers attempt to take
command of the ship's lower deck. She can later be heard arguing with
IDF commanders in an attempt to prevent them from evacuating a seriously
injured man. She had previously stated that she helped IDF forces
evacuate injured from the ship.
Despite the footage, Zoabi insisted in an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday that she was unaware that the IHH activists were armed. She claimed that she believed the metal pipes the men possessed were standard ship equipment and not weapons to be used against soldiers.
After the release of the new video footage, MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima) called on Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on
Wednesday to open an in-depth investigation into MK Zoabi's involvement in the violence perpetrated against IDF naval commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara
Last month the Knesset plenum voted 34 to 16
to strip Zoabi of some of her parliamentary privileges, following her participation in the Gaza flotilla.
Zoabi reacted to the ruling by stating that the Knesset was acting undemocratically.
“[The Knesset] has no idea of what democracy is. I represent my views,
my party’s views, and the views of all the Arab members of the Knesset.”
The Knesset, she complained, “was supposed to defend my right to express
my opinions,” and “protect me from racism which targeted me for my
views.” Her views, she said, represent a “global consensus” regarding