Netanyahu orders legal action against Balad MKs

Prime Minister asks Attorney General to examine what legal action can be taken against Arab MKs who met terrorists' families.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Mandelblit
Netanyahu and Mandelblit
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night spoke with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and asked him to examine what legal action can be taken against the three Knesset members from Balad who met a few days ago with the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis.

On Thursday, it was announced that Netanyahu, along with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, would file a personal complaint against the three MKs with the Knesset Ethics Committee.

Meanwhile, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid also sent a letter to Mandelblit on Saturday, demanding to begin proceedings to remove the parliamentary immunity of the three Arab MKs so that charges of incitement and support for terrorism could be filed against them.

In Lapid’s letter he wrote that the three MKs - Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas - are abusing their parliamentary immunity "for a display of hatred and subversion against the state of Israel, thus encouraging the murder of innocent people."

Responding to Netanyahu’s request to Mandelblit, the Balad party on Saturday night accused the Prime Minister of inciting against Arab MKs.

"Netanyahu is exerting improper political pressure on the Attorney General and still treats him as though he’s secretary of the Cabinet. He has forgotten that he has an independent status and is not taking orders from Netanyahu,” Balad said.

“Netanyahu’s continued incitement against Arab MKs is another step in his rule, which is based on intimidation and racism in order to divert the discussion from the main topic: The return of [terrorists’] bodies to their families for burial, as required by any moral standard of a human or religious group," it added.

On Friday, MK Ghattas defended the visit with the terrorists’ families, going so far as to describe terrorists slain while murdering Jews as "martyrs."

Ghattas dismissed the uproar over his and his fellow Arab MKs' actions as "24 hours of incitement and racism."

"There are bodies (of terrorists from) Jerusalem which have not been returned for four months already, and we were asked by the parents to intervene," he explained.