Daily Israel Report

Hamas Praises Zoabi For Mocking Ground Offensive

Pro-Hamas MK claims Israel begging for a cease-fire; Liberman vows to ban her from Knesset.
By Hezki Ezra and Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 7/19/2014, 10:25 PM / Last Update: 7/19/2014, 10:36 PM

MK Hanin Zoabi
MK Hanin Zoabi
Flash 90

Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) continued to openly encourage Hamas in the battle against Israel's self-defense operation, giving another inflammatory interview to Al-Jazeera Saturday " " . 

"The Israeli Home Front Command is afraid of casualties rising following a ground operation," Zoabi said. "The Israeli public cannot stand [the idea that] confrontation will injure more and more IDF soldiers."

"Israeli society is interested in a brief ground offensive, to reduce IDF casualties," she added.

Zoabi stated that the Hamas escalation took Israel "by surprise."

"The Israeli public was certainly surprised that rockets reached Tel Aviv," she boasted. "Israel tried to convince themselves after the Disengagement from Gaza [in 2005 - ed.] that the Palestinian public would not support Hamas, and this strange assumption then slapped them in the face."

The MK also insisted that Israel's ground offensive is a misguided last resort, instead of a calculated targeting of Hamas terror. 

"Israel launched a ground offensive against its will, due to a lack of military goals," she claimed. "Israel is now concerned about the expansion of the operation, and has put all hopes now on Egyptian efforts to bring about a ceasefire, after the original Egyptian initiative to make Gaza surrender failed completely." 

The Hamas spokesman abroad, Husam Badran, saluted Zoabi on her support.

"Hanin Zoabi is a Palestinian woman full of patriotism," Badran boasted. "She deserves the respect and admiration of all our people."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) has vowed to ban Zoabi from office Saturday night, after reports of Zoabi's article began to surface. 

"As before the last elections, Yisrael Beytenu will approach the Central Elections Committee to disqualify the traitors of the Balad party, Azmi Bishara and Hanin Zoabi," Liberman fired. "We hope that this time the court remembers the words of Zoabi, will make the right decision, and will not change the decision of the CEC to ban these people, the proclaimed enemies of Israel, to become members of the Israeli Knesset." 

Zoabi has been linked to Hamas before, and is infamous for provocative speeches, including one in which she said that Israel has “no right to a normal life” and a later address claiming that “the Israeli occupation” was behind the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria. Recently, she declared that Israel should "thank her" for allowing Jews to live in the Jewish State. 

The anti-Israel MK was thrust back into the spotlight last month, after making a series of remarks defending Hamas's horrific abduction and murder of Israeli yeshiva high school students Gilad Sha'ar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), hy"d.

In the remarks, Zoabi refused to call their murderers "terrorists" and insisted that the abduction was a "legitimate" way to "fight the occupation." 

More recently, Zoabi wrote an article encouraging Hamas on the terror group's website, and was briefly handcuffed during violent pro-Palestinian protests in Haifa. 

The latest salvo of verbal fire on Israelis resulted in both a personal and political backlash; Zoabi's family disowned her, passersby confronted her on the street and in restaurants, and the Knesset began several forms of legal proceedings for her ouster, in a bill dubbed "Zoabi's Law." 

Before the last elections, the Central Elections Committee banned Zoabi, under a clause requiring candidates and parties not to work against Israel's character as a Jewish, democratic state. 

However, the Supreme Court later overturned the decision and allowed Zoabi to run - a decision Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon lamented in June. 

"I was able to reject [Zoabi's] candidacy for the Knesset in the [Central] Elections Committee, but the Supreme Court overturned the decision," Danon said. ''This is a fiasco which the Knesset has to stop."