PM to Mandelblit: Investigate MK Zahalka for Incitement

Avihai Mandelblit. Photo by Emil Salman/POOL
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. (Emil Salman/POOL)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to consider opening an investigation into United Arab List MK Jamal Zahalka for comments he made Thursday to a Gaza radio station. Netanyahu said that the comments constituted incitement to violence, which is not covered by the general legal shields that do not allow Knesset members to be prosecuted.

In the interview, Zahalka said that “the Palestinians need to stop in any way possible” the attempts by Jews to enter Har HaBayis. He also called on them to “gather in your masses to keep the Jews out.”

Zahalka told listeners that “in the second intifada we sacrificed 400 martyrs for the sake of the Mosque, and the continued attempts by the Jews to enter the site is the reason for the current intifada. The question is whether the national groups will join the struggle and act on a national basis, or leave this intifada in the hands of the youth who are carrying out sporadic attacks.”

This is not the first time Netanyahu has sought an investigation of Zahalka, as well as other MKs. In the past, Netanyahu demanded that Zahalka be investigated for visiting with the families of terrorists. Earlier this year, Zahalka, along with fellow Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi and Bassal Ghattam, stood in a moment of silence for terrorists.