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Justice Min. Denies Incitement Probe against Arab MKs

Reports that MKs Zoabi, Ratas could face incitement charges over their attacks on a pro-IDF bishop are not true.
By Maayana Miskin and Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/3/2013, 5:15 PM

MK Zoabi
MK Zoabi
Flash 90

Contrary to reports regarding deliberations in a Knesset' committee, MKs Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ratas (Balad) are not under investigation for incitement against an Arab bishop who supports enlistment to the IDF, the Justice Ministry clarified Wednesday.

The Justice Ministry said that while an investigation regarding incitement against the bishop was launched six months ago, it does not involve the two MKs.

It was reported Wednesday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had ordered a probe into comments the Knesset members made several months ago, regarding Bishop Gabriel Nadaf.

Nadaf encourages Christian Arab citizens of Israel to enlist in the IDF. He was condemned by Arab MKs as well as by the regional leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Several Arab MKs, among them current MKs Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) and Hanin Zoabi (Balad), joined the Palestinian Authority in calling for Nadaf’s ouster. Nadaf and his family suffered harassment and even death threats.

“The Attorney General should protect those who encourage youth from every sector to enlist in defense of the state of Israel and its citizens, when they are attacked by those with parliamentary immunity who allow themselves to attack the state,” the Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Constitution and Law, MK David Rotem (Likud Beyteinu), said Wednesday when the committee deliberated on the matter.

Other MKs and ministers expressed their support for Nadaf as well. “The public ambush should be against Zoabi and her friends, not against you and your family,” MK Danny Danon told the bishop.