Netanyahu Asks Attorney General to Open Criminal Probe Against MK Zoabi

Prime Minister quotes statements by the Joint List MK – which appeared in a Hamas publication - calling for 'hundreds of thousands to ascend to Al-Aqsa' and urging 'a real intifada.'

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Israeli Arab lawmaker Haneen Zoabi speaks at a news conference in Jerusalem, December 19, 2012.
Israeli Arab lawmaker Haneen Zoabi speaks at a news conference in Jerusalem, December 19, 2012. Credit: Reuters
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting that he has asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation against MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint Arab List) for incitement to violence.

Netanyahu read aloud quote by Zoabi, which were published over the weekend in the Hamas newspaper. "Hundreds of thousands of worshippers must ascent to Al-Aqsa to stand against the Israeli plot to allow the blood of East Jerusalem residents to be spilled," one of the quotes said. Another quote stated that if "thousands of [our] people turn out, these incidents will turn into a real intifada."

Zoabi's words constitute incitement and are a clear call for violence," Netanyahu said. "I will not brush aside these severe statements."

At the meeting, Netanyahu also said he has ordered to mobilize 16 reserve companies of Border Police to tackle the surging violence. "It's better to call-up massive forces in advance and deal with possible developments than mobilize them after the fact," he said. "We will call up more forces as necessary."

Later Sunday, Netanyahu will also hold a meeting with several government ministe5rs to discuss the possibility of outlawing the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. "I will convene another discussion to push ahead with steps against the Islamic Movement," he said. "I will not stand for domestic incitement. We will employ all measures against anyone who incites from any direction."

At Sunday's cabinet meeting, the government also approved the appointment of Roni Alsheich as the next Israel Police commissioner.

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