Zoabi's Party Backs Her Comments, Blames the 'Occupation'
The Balad party, of which MK Hanin Zoabi is a member, dismissed on Tuesday evening the criticism that was leveled at Zoabi after she justified the kidnapping of three yeshiva students by Hamas.
In a statement, the party also blamed the “Israeli occupation” for recent violence.
“The mad cries of revenge by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, the Jewish Home, MK Miri Regev and others, are proof of the Israeli political system, which does not want to hear a different voice that is not aligned with the nationalist consensus, which sanctifies aggression, occupation and settlements,” said the party.
"Balad and MK Hanin Zoabi see the Israeli government as responsible for the continuing violence and bloodshed. The occupation is the source of violence, and the way to prevent violence is to end the occupation and to take a path of serious dialogue on the basis of UN resolutions,” Balad’s statement read.
“Balad and MK Hanin Zoabi support the just struggle against the occupation,” the party continued, adding, “International law explicitly states that people which are under occupation have the right to struggle against the occupation. We emphasize our opposition to hurting innocent people, and the duty to conduct the struggle within the framework of reason and morality.”
The party statement added, "Balad and MK Hanin Zoabi hope that the issue of the abduction ends peacefully, and the way to do so is through dialogue and sending a message of willingness to release prisoners on hunger strike from administrative detention without trial. We condemn the re-conquest of the Hevron area and the arbitrary arrests.”
Zoabi’s comments on the kidnapping came in a radio interview, in which she stated that the "kidnappers are not terrorists" and that the kidnapping is a "last resort" for Palestinian Arabs frustrated by their lives.
"They are not terrorists, I do not agree with you!" Zoabi fired. "They have seen no other way to change their reality and they have to resort to these measures until Israel sobers up a bit and feels the suffering of others."
Following the comments, Culture Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) announced that she intends to turn to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into Zoabi’s comments and whether they can be classified as an offense under Section 144 of the Penal Code against "incitement to violence of terror."
Liberman slammed Zoabi in a Facebook post, writing, "Not only are the kidnappers terrorists; Hanin Zoabi is a terrorist.”
He called for harsh judgement to be meted upon the MK. "The fate of the kidnappers and the fate of Zoabi, an inciter, should be the same."
"Expel her to Gaza and remove her diplomatic immunity," MK Miri Regev (Likud) stated Tuesday. "This is a betrayal. She identified herself with terrorists on the Mavi Marmara and now she identifies herself with the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped our three boys."
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Likud Beytenu) condemned the comments as well, telling Arutz Sheva that Zoabi “is an ambassador of terrorism in the Israeli Knesset.”