'Returning bodies right according to Judaism'

Joint List defends Balad MKs who met with terrorists' families at faction meeting as MK Zahalka stresses their actions were 'legitimate.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Joint List faction meeting
Joint List faction meeting
Hezki Ezra

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh continued to offer full backing Monday for the three Arab MKs who met with the families of 10 terrorists, allowing them a platform to defend their actions at the party's faction meeting. 

In the meeting last week, Balad faction MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas comforted the families of the terrorists, who they called "bereaved families," and promised to return the bodies of the terrorists, who they termed "martyrs."

Their efforts apparently worked despite widespread outrage over the meeting, as it was reported Monday an agreement has been reached to return the bodies.

Mohammed Barakeh, the former chairman of Odeh's Hadash faction, also offered his support to the three MKs on Monday. 

Speaking at the faction meeting, MK Zahalka stressed, "The purpose of the meeting was to find a quick solution to the problem of returning the bodies. We didn't do anything illegitimate; we fulfilled our parliamentary obligations."

"After this terrible meeting, we immediately passed all information to the police," Zahalka added. "It was the only goal of the meeting. All the rest is lies. We call for the immediate return of the bodies, as is right according to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity."

"Holding the bodies of terrorists for four months in a refrigerator while the families do not sleep at night is a terrible thing," he concluded. "Anyone with a sliver of a conscience should rise up against it."

Outrage over the MKs' actions was so great that numerous complaints were filed in the last few days against Zahalka, Zoabi and Ghattas with the Knesset Ethics Committee. 

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has also asked the investigation and intelligence branch of the police to gather information on the visit, at the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.