Netanyahu demands expulsion of Arab MK Zoabi from Knesset
NAZARETH – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit Wednesday afternoon regarding the possible expulsion of Arab MK Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset.
Netanyahu’s demand came following Zoabi’s condemnation of the continued Israeli crimes against Palestinians and calls for lifting Gaza siege.
“With her actions and lies she crossed every line and she has no place in the Knesset,” Netanyahu claimed.
Earlier on Wednesday Zoabi caused an uproar on the Knesset floor when she strongly condemned the Israeli forces’ videotaped attack on Turkish activists who were killed during their participation in Freedom Flotilla in 2010. The murderer has to pay compensation for the families of Turkish victims, she said during a debate discussing the newly-signed deal between Israel and Turkey. Zoabi considered the deal as a “murder confession.”
Zoabi demanded the Israeli government issue an apology both to the “political activists” aboard the Mavi Marmara, on which she sailed in solidarity, and to herself, from those who “incited against [her] for six years.”
During the debate, Israeli MKs tried to physically attack Zoabi following her address. Several MKs began shouting and moved toward the podium to complain. “Come hit me! Come hit me!” Zoabi shouted to the MKs who were pointing and yelling at her.
As MKs mobbed the stage, Zoabi shouted “they murdered” and “shut up” repeatedly. When Deputy Knesset Speaker Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beytenu) asked her to apologize, Zoabi said: “The Israeli soldiers who murdered are the ones who need to apologize! You need to apologize!”
The Joint List strongly denounced the attack, considering it a “fascist assault.” It added, “The racist and bloody attack against Joint List MKs has notably escalated, calling for an end to the continued incitement against Arab MKs and Hanan Zoabi in particular”.
In May 2010, a flotilla of six ships headed to Gaza but Israeli navy forces intercepted and boarded them and forced them to dock in Israel after brutally attacking the passengers. Nine of the Turkish activists were killed during the attack.
Zoabi’s comments came a day after Israel signed a deal with Turkey to restore ties, after years of frosty relations exacerbated by the flotilla attack. The deal stipulates that Israel would pay Turkey $20 million in compensation to families of the victims.