The chairman of the predominantly Arab Joint List party, MK Ayman Odeh, caused an uproar on Sunday as he called on Israeli Arabs who serve in the security forces to revolt and leave the service.
"Throw the weapons in their faces. The forces who are here are humiliating our people, our families and everyone who comes to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque," Odeh said in a video posted to his Facebook page, according to Channel 12 News.
"Our historical position is that we will be with our people in order to end the murderous occupation, so that the state of Palestine will be established and Palestinian flags will be hoisted on the walls of Jerusalem. Young people must not join the occupation forces. I call on the young people who have already joined, who are no more than one percent, a total of a few thousand, whose joining is insulting and humiliating, I call on them - throw the weapon in their face and tell them that 'our place is not with you. We will not be part of the injustice and the crime,'" he said.
"Our place is with justice and truth - against the occupation. Our place is the natural place, a noble part of the Palestinian Arab people, and in a just war to bring an end to the criminal occupation. So that peace will begin on the land of peace."
Following the remarks, the Israel Police turned to the State Attorney's Office to investigate whether they constitute incitement. In order for the police to be able to open an investigation into incitement against an MK, approval from the State Attorney's Office and the Attorney General is required. The police believe that such a video, in the midst of a tense security period and after a number of terrorist attacks, could lead to a continuation of the wave of terrorism and affect Muslims who serve in the defense establishment.
Following the publication of Odeh's video, the Yamina party rejected reports that it was considering the possibility of having the Joint List join the coalition. "The Joint List will not be part of the coalition or the government," the party clarified.
Members of the opposition were quick to condemn Odeh's remarks.
"Odeh's place is not in the Knesset, but in prison," tweeted MK Yisrael Katz (Likud). The chairman of the Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben Gvir, also responded quickly and called the chairman of the Joint List a "supporter of terrorism, terrorist, instigator, Bennett's new friend. A disgrace!"
MK Nir Barkat (Likud) blasted Odeh and said that his remarks "require an urgent criminal investigation and prosecution. I wrote a letter tonight to the Attorney General in which I asked that she order the police to summon Odeh to an immediate criminal investigation and prosecute him."
"It is inconceivable that, while the State of Israel is facing a wave of murderous terrorism, a Member of Knesset in Israel is calling for an uprising of Arab citizens and for harming the security of the state," Barkat added.
MK Amir Ohana (Likud) tweeted, "In a reformed world this man would have been arrested tonight, and tried in a speedy proceeding. In our world – he may still be the safety net of the Bennett, Sa'ar and Avigdor Liberman government."