(photo credit: Associated Press)
MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) is expected to testify on Tuesday morning before a UN committee probing the May 31 Gaza flotilla raid.Zoabi was expected
to testify on Tuesday morning, and said on Monday she planned to demand
that the UN committee question Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi
Ashkenazi for “their personal responsibility for the criminal and
pirate seizure of the Freedom Flotilla.”
She promised on Monday that she would call on the panel to take Israeli leaders to task in international courts for their part in the incident that left nine Turkish activists dead and 10 IDF soldiers wounded.
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Zoabi left Israel on Monday evening for Amman, to testify before the UN Human Rights Commission’s investigative committee, as part of a delegation from the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, whose members participated in the flotilla.
The only committee member who participated in the flotilla and was not expected to join his comrades in Amman was Sheikh Raed Salah, who is serving a fivemonth sentence in Ayalon Prison for attacking a policeman in 2007.
She planned to ask that the committee recommend that the Israeli leadership stand trial in an international court.
Zoabi will also ask that the panel expand its scope to “investigate
Israel’s violations of international law in placing the blockade on
Gaza, including war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been
carried out by Israel in Gaza throughout the past four years.”
The freshman MK, who leaped onto the headlines through her participation
in the flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara, said that she also “demanded
that Barak allow the committee to question the soldiers who participated
in the seizure of the flotilla,” and that she sent a letter to Public
Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich demanding that “he allow Salah to
testify before the UN committee, even from prison, and to release his
personal diary in which he documented at the time the events on the Mavi
She added that she “hopes in the name of the families of the victims and
the participants in the flotilla and all of the forces of justice in
the world that the committee will investigate honestly and fairly, and
will not surrender to the pressures that Israel usually places.”
Later on Monday evening, the Almagor terror victims group sent an urgent
missive to the Knesset Ethics Committee demanding that it address
Zoabi’s recent actions.
The letter, signed by Almagor chairman Meir Indor, asked that the UN
panel suspend Zoabi from serving as an MK and strip her of her
“We call on the Knesset to strip her immunity and demand that she be
tried for conspiring against the state and its legal authorities,”
Almagor wrote in its letter to Ethics Committee chairwoman Shelly
The NGO cited Zoabi’s decision to turn to The Hague to air her
complaints as a way of undermining Israel’s own legal system “and an
attempt to place upon Israel’s citizens and service people another
judicial system that is frequently hostile.”