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'Tibi is Siding With Hamas'

MK Ahmed Tibi threatens, “We will increase the pressure on Gilad Shalit,” is accused of siding with Hamas.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/24/2010, 6:53 PM / Last Update: 5/24/2010, 7:45 PM

Flash 90

MK Ahmed Tibi spoke Sunday to Channel 1 news and warned, “If you increase the pressure on prisoners, we will increase the pressure on Gilad Shalit.” The statement was made in an interview with Uri Levy.

By threatening to “pressure Gilad Shalit,” Tibi “has made himself a full partner with Hamas,” MK Moshe Matalon told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service. “He has no place here with us,” he added.

Tibi is already facing opposition to his presence in the Knesset, over a visit he and several other Arab MKs made in Libya. The trip included a meeting with Muammar Qaddafi.

Tibi's objection to a bill that will strip terrorist prisoners of their privileges demonstrates the bill's importance, Matalon said. Matalon was one of several MKs who backed the bill, which has been popularly dubbed “the Gilad Shalit law” and has received ministerial approval.

Matalon said he does not approve of the title “Gilad Shalit law,” as it implies that the law is useful only as a way to pressure Hamas over the continuing captivity of Gilad Shalit. “This law is just in and of itself, and can stand alone,” he said.

The purpose of the bill is not to worsen conditions in order to pressure Hamas, but rather to “remove excess privileges” given to terrorists “who murdered innocent people, including women, children, and the elderly,” Matalon explained.