Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Motzoei Shabbos conferred with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on legal sanctions that could be implemented against Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Bassal Ghatam, after the three met with families of terrorists in East Yerushalayim last week. Netanyahu also filed a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee demanding action against the MKs, Channel One reported.
The three met with the families of eleven terrorists on Wednesday, just a few hours before the murder of Hadar Cohen, Hy”d, who was killed in a terror attack at the Damascus Gate in Yerushalayim. At the beginning of the meeting, the three held a “moment of silence” for the “memory of the martyrs,” the terrorists who were killed by Israeli security officials in the course of their terror attacks.
More MKs spoke out against the three over the weekend. Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said that the MKs were misusing their political status and their parliamentary immunity to carry out crimes against the state. “These actions are unacceptable,” Lapid said. “They have crossed a red line. The meeting constitutes encouragement to further terror attacks. These are not families in mourning over the loss of loved ones, but families of terrorists.”
Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman slammed Netanyahu, Lapid, and others for allowing the situation to deteriorate to this point. “All of a sudden everyone realizes there is a problem with Israeli Arab MKs,” Israel Radio quoted him as saying. “Netanyahu, Lapid, and even Meretz MKs are complaining that the Arab MKs went too far this time. But all of them, from the prime minister down, including his ministers and Likud MKs, voted just a few weeks ago against our proposal to prevent Zoabi and her friends from running in the next election, and to prevent the High Court from changing the law. As usual, these others know how to talk, but only with us is a promise a promise,” Liberman said.
Government sources told Channel One that it was likely that the Ethics Committee would attempt to suspend the MKs from Knesset activity for six months – the maximum punishment available today – but it was likely that the High Court would overturn that decision.