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Zoabi 311 (channel 10).(Photo by: Channel 10)
Complaint to Knesset c'tee: Zoabi attacked usher
By DANIEL CLINTON
07/14/2011
Rivlin issues complaint, saying Balad MK kick, hit usher trying to escort her from Knesset plenum; Zoabi: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do it."
A complaint was lodged against MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) with the Knesset Ethics Committee on Thursday, after she allegedly kicked and pushed a Knesset employee charged with escorting her out of the Knesset plenum after she continually interrupted a speech by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The incident occurred Wednesday during a Kadima-initiated Knesset session on “the Netanyahu government’s failures.” The prime minister, who is required by law to give a response to a Knesset discussion with 40 or more signatures, referenced Zoabi while speaking about the Boycott Law.



“Earlier, an MK who participated in the provocative flotilla meant to break the state’s naval security blockade spoke,” Netanyahu said. He then turned to Zoabi and said, “You’re lucky that you are a member of the Israeli parliament and not the Syrian parliament, for example.”

Zoabi then began to shout at Netanyahu, “Go ahead, put me on trial! Put me on trial, like your soldiers should be put on trial!” The Balad MK was forcibly removed from the plenum, with MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) yelling after her, “You are garbage!”

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Knesset Director-General Dan Landau instructed Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin to submit the complaint to Knesset Ethics Committee chairman MK Yitzhak Vaknin.

"Attacking any Knesset employee, especially an usher while she is fulfilling her duties, is an unprecedentedly severe offense, which requires the attention of the Ethics Committee," Rivlin wrote in the complaint.

Landau released a statement in which he said that MK Zoabi had "crossed a red line." He added that in addition to the complaint, the Knesset employees had approached him in protest of Zoabi's behavior. Landau pledged his support for the "dedicated and professional" Knesset employees.

Zoabi addressed the complaint in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday, repeatedly apologizing for the incident.

"I'm sorry if i pushed her, Zoabi stated." I publicly apologize before her. I'm sure she knows that I didn't mean to do it. I was simply trying to free myself. "

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report
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