MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List-Ta'al) must stand trial for making phone contact with Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh and broadcasting a speech by the Hamas chief to an Israeli Arab rally, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Thursday.
After getting in phone contact with Sanaa at the rally near the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Haniyeh made a speech over the telephone, addressing the Arab Israeli protesters, and Sanaa used a speaker to broadcast the words to the demonstrators.
The event was organized by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, an Israeli Arab political organization that seeks to unify activities within the Arab community. The Hamas leader sent his regards to the committee during his address.
"The Strip misses you a lot. With God's help, we'll meet soon in Jerusalem," Haniyeh said.
Sanaa's actions drew furious condemnations in Israel and calls for legal action. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch dispatched an urgent letter to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, saying, "Knesset Member Sanaa should face immediate trial for providing support for terrorism. It is unacceptable for any person, especially a Knesset member in the State of Israel, to act as a loudspeaker for a terrorist organization whose objective is the destruction of Israel."
The Public Security Ministry said in a statement, "There must be a limit to cynicism. We view this as a gross violation of the law. Even the phone bill for the call was paid for by the State of Israel."
Sanaa shrugged off the condemnations, saying, "I deride all of the extremists who dedicate a war against dialogue."
He added that a German mediator was passing messages between Israel and Hamas over a proposed hostage swap, but that there were no calls to prosecute the mediator for speaking to Hamas.