(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Knesset House Committee on Monday decided by a majority of seven to one to recommend to the Knesset to strip MK Haneen Zoabi of three special privileges accorded members of Knesset: The right to carry a diplomatic passport, privileges in leaving Israel to go abroad and the right to have the state cover litigation fees incurred while serving in the Knesset.
MK Dov Henin (Hadash) vehemently attacked the process, saying the committee was
conducting a field trial of the Arab MKs, adding moreover that even at a
field trial the roles of judge and prosecutor are separate, “while here
(committee chairman) MK Yariv Levin has taken both roles on himself. He fully
identifies with the role of prosecutor, but does not relinquish
chairing the committee.”
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tempestuous second session, during which Levin repeatedly
removed Henin and Meretz MK Ilan Gilon from the room for interfering.
The Arab Knesset members boycotted the discussion.
Raz Nizri of the Attorney-General's Office told the committee that Zoabi was interrogated as to her attempt to
enter a restricted military area – the Gaza Strip, and also as to
possible involvement in the violence against IDF soldiers aboard the
'Mavi Marmara.' He added, however, that the investigation was ongoing and if the Attorney-General's office decided to bring charges against Zoabi, the committee
would be informed.
Henin said that the proceedings
should be halted following the allegations of
involvement in violence aboard the ship, of which no details were given,
since these should not be
allowed to influence in hearings of a semi-judicial nature that such as those of the committee.