International Lawmakers May Probe Israeli Decision to Censure Arab MK

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is set to discuss recommendation to strip Balad MK Hanin Zuabi of privileges over Gaza flotilla participation.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union on Wednesday asked Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin for clarification regarding the recent recommendation to revoke an Israeli Arab MKs privileges for sailing in May's Gaza flotilla.

Tomer Noiberg

The Knesset's House Committee earlier this month recommended revoking the privileges of Balad MK Hanin Zuabi. The decision was passed by a majority of seven to one, with MK Ilan Gilon of Meretz opposing.

The IPU, based in Geneva, aims to protect the rights of parliament members, and represents dozens of European legislative bodies, including the Knesset.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union expressed concern over death threats Zuabi has received and over her political censure, and has requested Rivlin address claims about Zuabi's case ahead of a discussion it will hold in the coming weeks.

The union's request comes after MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad chairman) and Zuabi urged international lawmakers to rally for their cause and express solidarity with them against the "unprecedented campaign of incitement, de-legitimization and political persecution."

Balad issued a statement saying its faction member's rights are at stake and added it would continue employ international pressure in order to rein in the incitement and political revenge against it MKs.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union previously considered sending representatives to oversee the legal proceedings against Hadash chairman Mohammed Barakeh, who had been charged with assaulting a police officer during an anti-separation fence rally in the West Bank earlier this year.