MK Ofir Akunis
MK Ofir Akunis Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) submitted on Tuesday a request to the Central Elections Committee, asking to disqualify MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from running in the upcoming elections. Akunis, who serves as deputy chairman of the committee, submitted the request to its chairman, Judge Elyakim Rubinstein.

Akunis cited section seven of the Knesset Basic Law, which states that “a list of candidates will not participate in the elections and there shall not be a candidate in elections to the Knesset, if the goals or actions of the list or the actions of the person support the armed struggle of an enemy state or of a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.”

"As I promised in the Knesset, I will work hard to disqualify Hanin Zoabi from running,” Akunis said, adding, “Israel must act with full force and determination against those who take advantage of its democracy to destroy it from within. Hanin Zoabi participated in the Mavi Marmara terror attack aimed at Israeli soldiers, and we must not allow her to return to the house of representatives of the State of Israel."

MK Zoabi took part in the 2010 attempt to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas. Zoabi was aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, where IDF soldiers who boarded were violently attacked. A video clip indicates that she knew of the planned attack in advance.

Zoabi was later caught rubbing elbows with senior Hamas terrorists. She has also been criticized for anti-Israel speeches, such as one saying that Israel has “no right to a normal life” and a more recent address claiming that “the Israeli occupation” was behind the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria.

Akunis is not the first person who is attempting to prevent her from running. Two weeks ago, MK Danny Danon (Likud) also asked the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Zoabi.

"Zouabi used her [parliamentary] immunity in order to support a terror action that attempted to kill IDF soldiers," Danon charged. "A person like that has no place in the Knesset. She belongs in jail."

MK Zoabi said in response to Akunis’ move, “This is cheap and populist incitement by a Knesset member who wishes to gain political points on my back. It’s a populist request which aims to disqualify political positions, a fact which drains the democracy of all its content.”