Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Defense Minister Avigdor LibermanMarc Israel Sellem/Fash90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) expressed hope Friday morning that the Supreme Court would allow the Knesset to ban the Balad party from running in the next election after the arrest of MK Basel Ghattas for smuggling mobile phones to security prisoners in Israeli prisons.

"Basel Ghattas is not an isolated case of an MK crossing the line." the Defense Minister said. "Ghattas is the true face of Balad, and Balad is the true face of the Joint Arab List."

Liberman said that his Yisrael Beytenu party led the decision of the Central Elections Committee to disqualify the Balad party from running in national elections in 2009, but the Supreme Court overturned the committee's decision and allowed Balad to run in subsequent elections.

"I believe that this past week marks the regaining of the sobriety of the entire system. [I believe that] the understanding [is spreading] that Ghattas and his friends are a danger to the security of Israel and to Israeli democracy, and that next time it will not be just Ghattas, who will probably be in jail and not able to run for the Knesset, but also all of his friends who exploit democracy to operate out of the Knesset against the State of Israel."

"I hope and believe that next time, the Supreme Court will also understand that the steps of Yisrael Beytenu [to disqualify Balad from running] are vital to the security of the country to defend it against those who seek to harm it from within."