Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the condolence visit paid by Balad MK’s to Palestinian terrorists’ families on Thursday, saying they do not deserve to be in the Knesset.
Three members of Balad, a faction on the Arab Joint List, met with 10 families of terrorists this week, including one who killed three Israelis, whom they honored as a “martyr,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
Netanyahu also asked Speaker Yuli Edelstein to examine what steps can be taken against them.
Later, Thursday night, MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) and MK Amir Ohana (Likud) filed a joint complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee, charging that “the issue is not a matter of left or right, but rather a matter of terrible acts that harm the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.”
The father of Baha Alian, the triple-murderer, described the meeting as “warm and productive.” He said that the MKs “listened to the suffering and pain of the shaheeds’ families” and “saluted the families’ strong stance and their endless struggle against [Israeli] aggression,” and that they promised to pressure the Israeli government to release terrorists’ bodies, according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch. Not burying a body is a grave sin, they noted.
Alian was the perpetrator of the attack in Yerushalayim’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on October 13, 2015. Police shot and killed him at the scene.
Yisrael Beitenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman said the visit was “proof that Joint List MKs in general and specifically those from Balad are representatives of terrorist organizations in the Knesset.” He reiterated his demand to expel them from the Knesset.
MK Anat Berko (Likud) said: “I can’t imagine a possible parallel situation, in which members of Congress visited the family of Muhammad Atta, who is responsible for the 9\11 attacks.
“Who do Balad members identify with? With the murderers of our people?” she asked.
The MKs – Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas – reportedly plan to meet with the families again, to update them on their efforts.