Daily Israel Report

Photo: Zoabi Caught at Hamas Confab

A photo recovered during an IDF raid in Tulkarem shows Israel-hating MK Hanin Zoabi hobnobbing with Hamas officials.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 1/19/2012, 7:50 PM

Zoabi's Hamas Confab
Zoabi's Hamas Confab
Zoabi's Hamas Confab

An IDF raid on Hamas offices in Tulkarem turned up a photo of MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) rubbing elbows with well-known Hamas figures.

The photo -- recovered with a cache of intelligence data in December -- shows Zoabi alongside four known Hamas members.

Aziz Dwaik, the Hamas terror movement's most senior representative Judea and Samaria, and Mariam Saleh, the former minister for women's affairs in Hamas-run Gaza, were also in the photo.

Both Dwaik and Saleh have served time in Israeli prisons for alleged involvement in a terror organization. The meeting took place shortly after Dwaik was released from prison.

Zoabi confirmed that she had met with Dwaik and Saleh in December: "The military shouldn’t be conducting these raids, but rather putting an end to the occupation," she said Thursday.

"About 20 people took part in that meeting and the Shin Bet gave me no trouble about it. Why should they? The entire world recognizes Hamas now and I think it's time Israel did so as well. We don't consider Hamas to be a terror organization," she said.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) on Thursday said Zoabi was a traitor who should have been put on trial for her involvement in the 2010 Mavi Marava incident. Zoabi was aboard the Gaza-bound ship when her fellow passengers sought to lynch Israeli naval commandos who boarded the ship in accordance with international maritime law.

It is widely believed Zoabi could not have been unaware that the attempted murder of Israeli soldiers was about to occur, but took no action to stop the attack or warn the soldiers. The soldiers, who first attempted to use less-than-lethal arms to defend themselves, were eventually forced to use live fire resulting in the deaths of 9 Turkish nationals.

Referring to former Balad chairman Azmi Bishara, in exile after being investigated for contacting the enemy during the Second Lebanon War, Knesset member Danny Danon (Likud) said, "Zoabi is following in his footsteps and will end up exactly like him -- involved in treasonous activities against the state of Israel."

Zoabi is a contentious figure in Israeli politics who has faced numerous ethics charges over the years.

In addition to the Mavi Marmara incident, Zoabi has made solidarity visits to leaders whose nations are formally at war with Israel, made veiled threats for a Third Intifada, participated in riots, and characterized terrorism against Jewish Israelis as "understandable."

Most recently, Zoabi assaulted a female Knesset usher after flying into a frothing rage when Prime Minister made a sidebar reference to the Mavi Marmara during a speech she was present for.

Nationalist MKs have mounted more than one attempt to eject Zoabi from the Knesset permanently since the Mavi Marmara incident.

Last year the Knesset stripped Zoabi of her diplomatic passport and declined to pay any legal expenses she may incur pertaining to foreign travel.