Arab MKs furious about Peretz's response to Gaza violence

A-Sanaa leads charge against defense minister.

taleb a sanaa 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
taleb a sanaa 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
MK Taleb a-Sanaa led the charge of Arab MKs who lashed out at Defense Minister Amir Peretz Wednesday for his handling of the recent violence in the Gaza Strip. Six of the nine Arab MKs in the Knesset issued statements lambasting the defense minister's policies and calling for his resignation. Many of the MKs echoed the sentiments of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that the ongoing Kassam rocket attacks were in Israel's interests, because they prevented bilateral talks and progress in the peace process. "Israel is not interested in quiet. They are not interested in partners for peace. I offered to be an envoy to the Palestinian people and I was not allowed," said a-Sanaa. On Wednesday morning, a-Sanaa said he issued a request to travel to the Gaza Strip and meet with PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other PA officials, in order to convince Palestinian terrorist groups to stop launching rockets at Israel. A-Sanaa said he received a verbal reply from Peretz indicating that it was "not secure" for the MK to travel to Gaza. "How could he tell me it's not secure? There are children dying in Gaza, Kassams in Sderot, and he tells me I won't be safe? Nobody is safe," said a-Sanaa. The Defense Ministry refused to comment on a-Sanaa's allegations, but said they were "looking into the matter. A-Sanaa said he would continue petitioning the Defense Ministry to allow him to travel. Meanwhile, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) accused Peretz of "building his political career on the bodies of Palestinian children" and MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) likened Peretz to a "child murderer." "The defense of Sderot will not come from widening the circle of blood in Gaza and from murdering children," Barakeh said. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) made similar comments when he told the Knesset that "killing children has become the norm of every Israeli attack."