MK Oren Hazan
MK Oren Hazan Hadas Parush/Flash 90

A day after receiving a sharp reprimand from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, MK Oren Hazan (Likud) apologized for apparently mocking MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid) over her disability.

Speaking from the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, Hazan denied he had intended to tease Elharar, but said he was sorry for hurting the wheelchair-bound MK's feelings. 

"There has been a lot of noise in the last 48 hours over the topic that I asked to investigate, the double voting on the budget, and somehow it moved into other areas," he said. "I did not and I do not have any complaint about MK Karin Elharar. If she was hurt by me in any way, I apologize."

"It's time to lower the flames a bit," Hazan added. "The personal shaming towards me has been accomplished, but I absorb it and continue to stand up and smile." 

"If there is someone who thinks I had some sort of intent to cause harm to the general public or the disabled community, this wasn't the case and it never will be. If someone was hurt, I apologize."

The saga began last week when Elharar, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, asked MK Isawi Frej (Meretz) to press her voting button at the plenum, during the votes on the state budget. 

Hazan saw Frej voting twice and accused him of a double vote, until Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein clarified, amid a storm of outrage, that he grants Frej permission to vote for Elharar.

A week later, during the vote Monday for the Enlistment Law, Hazan reportedly mocked Elharar and asked her if she needed to be assisted by Frej once again.

Hazan initially denied Monday’s incident, and wrote on Facebook Tuesday: "I never spoke to MK Elharar and said the things that were written about me, this is a total lie."

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