State Recommends Charging MK Zoabi for Threatening Policemen

Knesset plenum to hold extraordinary debate on MK's appeal against suspension on Wednesday.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Haneen Zoabi.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The State Prosecutor’s Office has recommended indicting MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) for making threats against Arab policemen, Channel 10 television reported on Tuesday night.

The prosecution’s recommendation reflects the recommendation made by the police two months ago. The case will now be passed on to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who will make the final decision on whether to indict.

The police investigation against Zoabi was opened in July, after an encounter between the MK and Arab policemen in a Nazareth court. Zoabi accused the policemen of being “collaborators against their own people” and said that people “should wipe the floor with them” and “spit in their faces.” She also said the policemen “should be afraid of the shabab,” a word that literally means young men, but is sometimes used to refer to hooligans.

At the time, Zoabi termed the police recommendation “a result of the warlike, racist, fascist atmosphere that is casting its shadow over all the Israeli authorities. If I am indicted, I’ll turn the hearings into the most political trial in Israel’s history. They’re putting me on trial over a trivial, meaningless matter, while ministers and MKs who incited to racism and incited to violence and even to murder aren’t being investigated, even after complaints were filed against them.”

The Knesset is slated to hold an unusual debate Wedneday on Zoabi’s appeal against the Knesset Ethics Committee’s decision to suspend her from participation in all Knesset debates, whether plenary or committee, for six months. It is the harshest penalty the panel has ever imposed on a sitting MK.

The punishment was imposed due to various controversial statements Zoabi made, including her assertion that the people who kidnapped three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June weren’t terrorists. The teens were subsequently found dead.Zoabi has already petitioned the High Court of Justice against the committee’s decision. Her appeal to the full Knesset is part of her effort to exhaust all other avenues, since otherwise, the court might deem the petition premature.

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