Likud MK clashes with Palestinian Arab representatives

Verbal confrontation between MK Avi Dichter and PA representative of the Palestinian delegation at Inter-Parliamentary Union conference.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avi Dichter
Avi Dichter
Adina Wallman, Knesset Spokesperson

MK Avi Dichter (Likud), the head of the Knesset delegation to the Middle East Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on Wednesday got into a heated exchange with a member of the Palestinian Arab delegation, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad.

This was the first discussion of the IPU in which MK Dichter took part, after being appointed to the post earlier this month by Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin.

MK Dichter called on the IPU to condemn the transfer of salaries by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to families of terrorists.

In response, al-Ahmad said, "We will continue to take care of the prisoners. They are not terrorists. It is a fact that Defense Minister Gantz gave the banks permission to open accounts for them. Marwan Barghouti is not a terrorist; Shimon Peres and Israeli leaders met with him."

Dichter replied, "Marwan Barghouti was sentenced to five life sentences for the murder of five Israelis. This is a murderer and not a man of peace. Beyond that, if this is the perspective of the Palestinians about those who murdered dozens of children and the elderly, we are in trouble."

Al-Ahmad claimed that "the Palestinian Authority fights terrorism" and Dichter replied, "In all the years of the existence of the Palestinian Authority, there is not a single case in which a terrorist who murdered Israelis was interrogated by the PA and prosecuted or imprisoned. That is not how you fight terrorism.”

The exchange between the two continued, as al-Ahmad said that "the Israeli occupation must end, and it will end. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Israel and the Palestinians must live side by side in peace, but without the mediation and sponsorship of the United States."

Dichter wondered in response, "Do we live in the same region? It is difficult to cooperate with those who pay a monthly salary of 3,500 euros to convicted murderers."

Turning directly to the committee's chairwoman, Salma Ataullahjan from Canada, Dichter said, "It is inconceivable that in a forum on the Middle East, there is no discussion focusing on Iran, the terrorist state responsible for instability in the region. Iran, which parallel with the development of nuclear weapons, is investing resources in five terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon."