Barakeh with policemen
Barakeh with policemenIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The Attorney General informed Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin Sunday that criminal charges have been filed against MK Muhammad Barakeh (Hadash), for attacking an official who was discharging his legal duty, insulting a public servant, assault and interfering with a policeman in the line of duty.

The charges relate to four separate incidents. The first occurred in April 2005. According to the charges, Barakeh assaulted a police officer who was arresting a leftist demonstrator during a riot near the village of Bil'in. Barakeh choked the police officer and called out to other rioters, in Arabic, “release him, release him.” He also punched

“I am a Knesset Member, I will make sure to finish you.”

the officer in the arms and chest.

In August 2006, Barakeh insulted a police officer who arrested his son, after the son had attacked the police officer. Barakeh stood in front of the officer and shouted: “you are violent,” and “you will pay dearly.” He also called the officer nevelah – a derogatory word that refers to a vile person (and literally means 'carcass') – while slapping his face with his finger. The officer told him to calm down, and Barakeh allegedly answered: “I am a Knesset Member, I will make sure to finish you.”

Barakeh is also accused of attacking a person who shouted criticism of leftist speaker Uri Avneri at a demonstration in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv in 2006 against the Second Lebanon War, and of trying to prevent police officers from arresting the Director of the Hadash party at a demonstration in Nazareth in July 2007.