Israeli Arab MK calls Lions' Den 'martyrs,' says 'resistance has risen'

According to Israeli law, candidates in elections for the Knesset are disqualified if they state support for a terrorist organization.

Arab MKs (L-R) Aida Touma-Suleiman and Ahmad Tibi attend a Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality during a discussion on the segregation between women in maternity wards, in the Israeli parliament on April 13, 2016. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Arab MKs (L-R) Aida Touma-Suleiman and Ahmad Tibi attend a Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality during a discussion on the segregation between women in maternity wards, in the Israeli parliament on April 13, 2016.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

Hadash-Ta'al MK Aida Touma-Suleiman referred to the members of the Lions' Den terrorist group who were killed during an IDF raid in Nablus on Tuesday as "martyrs" in a Facebook post later in the day.

"Nablus bid farewell to our martyrs today," wrote Suleiman. "Our Palestinian people bid farewell to their martyrs. The more the occupation increases its crimes, the resistance escalates. An essential lesson in the history of peoples."

Early Tuesday morning, five Palestinian terrorists were killed after the IDF raided the headquarters of the Lions' Den terrorist group in Nablus.

According to "Basic Law - The Knesset," candidates in the elections for the Knesset are disqualified if their goals, actions or statements, whether explicitly or implicitly contain "the denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incitement to racism, [or] support for an armed struggle of an enemy state or of a terrorist organization against the State of Israel."

 PALESTINIAN GUNMEN from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hold a military parade in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, last week. Israel need not apologize for defending itself against Palestinian terrorist cells, says the writer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) PALESTINIAN GUNMEN from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hold a military parade in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus, last week. Israel need not apologize for defending itself against Palestinian terrorist cells, says the writer. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

The Lions' Den group has claimed responsibility for a series of shooting attacks against Israelis in recent weeks.

Suleiman also published a tweet expressing outrage at the IDF raid on Tuesday, writing "6 Palestinians killed in one night. Their blood is on the hands of [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid and [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz. Stop the terror of the occupation, enough of the bloodshed! Isn't it time to understand that the more you deepen the occupation, the more you provoke the resistance?!"

Hadash-Ta'al MK Ofer Cassif expressed "full support" for Suleiman, saying that the MK "stands against incitement" and was stating a "simple truth: where there is oppression, where there is occupation, there will also be resistance."

"The occupation is terrorism and its supporters and promoters led by the blood minister [Benny Gantz] must be judged - in Israel, palestine, The Hague or on the stage of history. Only the end of the occupation will bring peace and security to both nations."

Jewish organizations, politicians express outrage

Btsalmo, a Jewish human rights organization, called on the attorney-general to investigate Suleiman on suspicion of violating "the Counter-Terrorism Law" which prohibits showing support or identifying with a terrorist group or terrorist actions.

"In the ruling in [the case of] the State of Israel vs. Darin Tator, it was determined unequivocally that the word Shahid means martyred terrorists," wrote Btsalmo director-general Shai Glick.

"There is no doubt that Aida is here expressing support and identification with these people whose actions are all an attempt to murder more and more Jews: women, children and soldiers. There is no doubt that such a post also constitutes incitement and support for terrorism and can cause many terrorists to follow suit and murder Israeli citizens," added Glick. "As I recall, there is no immunity for supporting terrorism and in the past Knesset members were prosecuted for similar offenses."

Matan Peleg, chairman of the Im Tirzu movement, responded to Suleiman's statements by condemning the High Court of Justice for allowing MK to run in the elections for the Knesset in past rulings.

"Many thanks to the judges of the High Court of Justice for bringing the supporters of terrorists into the Knesset," wrote Peleg. "Only you are responsible for that. Whoever dares to sit in the same government [with them] or rely on this dangerous member of the Knesset, the people of Israel will not forgive him."

Religious Zionist party leader Betzalel Smotrich attacked Lapid and Gantz in response to Suleiman's social media posts, writing "It is impossible to fight terrorism when you establish a government with supporters of terrorism! It's either a Lapid-Gantz government with supporters of terrorism or a full-on right-wing government for four years."

Suleiman's history of supporting Palestinian terrorism

While Suleiman has condemned some terror attacks against Israelis in the past year, she has expressed support for Palestinian terrorist groups in the past.

Last year, Suleiman was photographed embracing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khalida Jarrar. The PFLP has been designated a terrorist organization by the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and the EU.

Suleiman has also repeatedly condemned Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank and has even accused the Israeli government of buying oil from ISIS.