(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Monday closed the investigation against Balad MK Haneen Zoabi for incitement for giving several media interviews seemingly supporting the kidnapping of the three Jewish teenagers in mid-June.
Weinstein said that despite the problematic nature of her statements ethically, she herself had qualified her statements.
The attorney-general said those qualifications – along with her parliamentary immunity and the general commitment to free speech – made the case too weak to file an indictment.
Separately, Weinstein reaffirmed his Friday decision to launch a criminal investigation against Zoabi for alleged incitement and disgracing a public servant, relating to a hearing at a Nazareth court. The statement said Zoabi had called Israeli-Arab police officers “traitors,” implied threats against them and told a protesting crowd to spit in their faces.
“If the attorney-general is going to open an investigation, he should agree also to open one against all of the police officers who broke the law with brutal behavior towards me and the rest of the protesters,” Zoabi said in response to the launching of the investigation against her.
Zoabi said she is preparing a complaint “against the officers who pushed and swore at me, hit me and pulled my hair, and handcuffed me for no reason.”
“I, however, will continue even more the just struggle against war crimes committed by the army in Gaza and continue my activity to lift the siege and end the occupation,” she added.
Investigators will seek to determine whether Zoabi’s behavior met the threshold for incitement and insulting a public official. Unlike the previous episodes, where announcements came via the police, this time there was official government confirmation, signaling the incident may be treated more seriously.
Earlier this month, Asst.-Ch.
Manny Yitzhaki, head of the police investigations and intelligence branch, recommended that charges be brought against Zoabi.
A police officer in Nazareth complained that after he testified in court in the city, angry protesters met him outside the courthouse. One of the protesters was Zoabi, who “shouted offensive terms and called out to those present in a way that could be suspected as insulting a public worker and incitement to violence,” according to police.
Zoabi’s office did not respond to inquiries as to what the MK said to the police officer.Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.