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MK Zoabi Barred from Plenum, Committees for 6 Months

Punishment by the Ethics Committee is the harshest one possible, and follows a complaint against radical Arab MK by the Knesset Speaker.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/29/2014, 2:33 PM

Hanin Zoabi
Hanin Zoabi
Flash 90

The Knesset's Ethics Committee decided Tuesday to bar MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from the Knesset committees and plenum for six months. This is the most severe punishment that the Ethics Committee can mete out to a Knesset Member, according to the Rules of the Knesset.

The Knesset is about to disperse for its summer recess anyway, and will not reconvene until mid-October. Zoabi will not be allowed to participate in discussions until February 1, 2015.

The decision follows complaints filed against Zoabi by several MKs, including Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud), following her statement that the murderers of the three Jewish yeshiva boys are not terrorists and even sought to justify the act.

She also faces police investigation over allegations that she incited to violence and insulted a public official.

Those charges surround remarks she made against police earlier this month at the entrance to the Nazareth Magistrate's Court. The MK responded through representatives, who claim she has "no time" to sit for the police investigation. 

Another potential criminal investigation against Zoabi, which related to her comments about the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel, was nixed Monday after Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri told the Knesset Committee for Interior Affairs that her comments did not amount to incitement.

"On the one hand, she did not see the abductors [of murdered teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar, and Eyal Yifrah, hy"d - ed.] as terrorists; on the other, she always disapproved of the abduction [itself]," Nizri said.

Zoabi is infamous for her provocative, anti-Israel 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 her infamous remarks defending Hamas's abduction of the three Israeli yeshiva high school students, who were fond murdered several weeks after going missing.

Earlier this month, she made headlines again, after she published an article on Hamas's official website encouraging an Islamist uprising against Israel.