Israel launches criminal probe against Arab lawmaker who allegedly incited against cops
Zoabi will be investigated after she was heard making insulting remarks to police officers during an anti-war rally in Nazareth.
Police chief Yohanan Danino ordered his investigators in the LAHAV 433 intelligence unit to carry out the probe.
Zoabi is alleged to have yelled epithets in the direction of police officers during a court hearing in the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court involving rioters who were being arraigned for their behavior during the demonstration. Now investigators will seek to determine whether Zoabi’s behavior meets the threshold for incitement and insulting a public official.
Earlier this month, Asst.-Ch. Mani Yitzhaki, head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Branch, recommended that the charges be brought against Zoabi.
A police officer in Nazareth complained that after he testified in court in the city, angry protesters met him outside the courthouse.
One of the protesters was Zoabi, who “shouted offensive terms and called out to those present in a way that could be suspected as insulting a public worker and incitement to violence,” according to police.
Zoabi’s office did not respond to inquiries as to what the MK said to the police officer.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) commended the attorney-general, saying that “finally law enforcement is doing its job and is starting dealing with the Arab MKs who aid the enemy.”
According to Elkin, “Zoabi is in the MK only because the legal system defended her against a just decision by the Central Election Committee to disqualify her candidacy as a member of Israel’s Knesset.”
Elkin also called on police to investigate her as soon as possible and for her to be put on trial.
“The time has come to take care of the traitors among Arab MKs. In no other democratic country would such behavior be tolerated,” he said.
Similarly, Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum said Weinstein is doing the right thing and that police should have no problem finding proof that Zoabi incited against the State of Israel and supports Hamas, a terrorist organization.
Kirschenbaum added that the removal of Zoabi’s parliamentary immunity is supported by several factions in the Knesset.
MK Danny Danon (Likud) said “it’s about time this terrorist goes to jail. I hope the investigation will end soon and lead to her being convicted for incitement against the state.”
Meanwhile, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu) submitted a bill on Thursday meant to remove Zoabi from the Knesset.
The bill would rescind Israeli citizenship of MKs who support terrorist organizations and enemy states in a time of war.
The purpose of the bill, according to its explanatory section, is to prevent the “absurd situation in which MKs express support for terrorist organizations and activities against the State of Israel and its citizens in Israel an abroad during wartime.”
“These acts are a clear breach of trust against the State of Israel and, therefore, it must be prevented by taking citizenship away from MKs who act against the country they are supposed to represent,” the bill reads.
“MKs who are against the State of Israel should not have their job anymore,” Rotem said Friday.
Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud) said that on Monday she will hold a meeting on enforcing laws prohibiting incitement.
“The time has come for MK Zoabi’s immunity to be removed and for her to be punished for her incitement against the State of Israel and it’s security forces,” Regev said.