A-G denies probe on Arab MKs for inciting against pro-IDF priest

Weinstein says only investigation opened to date is police probe on possible threats against priest, not on MKs.

July 3, 2013 16:50
1 minute read.
Haneen Zoabi at the President's residence, January 31, 2013.

Haneen Zoabi. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday afternoon denied earlier reports that he had opened any investigation whatsoever into Arab MKs for calling for the dismissal of a pro-IDF Greek Orthodox priest.

Weinstein said that, to date, the only investigation that was opened was a police investigation which was opened half-a-year ago, and that the police investigation was only against unspecified elements that had threatened violence against the priest.

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According to Weinstein, there is not even a police investigation or suspicion against the Arab MKs, let alone a legal investigation.

Last week, MKs Bassel Ghattas and Haneen Zoabi of Balad wrote to the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem Theophillis III demanding that Father Gabriel Nadaf either halt his activities supporting Christian Arab enlistment or be fired by the Patriarch from his position as a serving priest in his congregation in Yafia, a town in the Lower Galilee abutting Nazareth.

During a hearing in the Knesset Interior Committee, chairwoman MK Miri Regev called on the Attorney General’s Office to investigate MKs “suspected of inciting against Father Nadaf.

“It’s unacceptable that Arab MKs should think that they can be Trojan horses in the Knesset and send letters of incitement against a Christian priest who encourages young Christians to enlist in the IDF,” said Regev.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post last week, MK Ghattas acknowledged that he had called on Patriarch Theophillis to fire Nadaf if he does not desist from publicly supporting enlistment.

“We are against his initiative,” said Ghattas who is Greek-Orthodox. “As a religious man he should be concerned with the affairs and issues of his church and he should not be politically active in this way and seek to get Arab Christians to volunteer for the Israeli army. Such activity is against the public will and desire of the Christian population. We are Christians and part of the Palestinian people.”

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