Mansour Abbas
Mansour AbbasYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Mansour Abbas, chairman of the Ra’am party, defended himself on Monday after he was accused by Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar of "betraying" Islam.

Speaking in an interview with Nazareth-based Nas Radio, Abbas asked the interviewers, "Do you think Mansour Abbas is a traitor and a collaborator?"

Abbas, who was clearly emotional during the interview, added that Ra'am serves the affairs of Arab society and the Palestinian people, including Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and even the Diaspora, and that its presence in the Knesset is intended solely for this purpose.

The Islamic Movement which is represented in the Knesset by Ra'am, he continued, has a solid reputation with regard to its national positions and adherence to the rights of the Palestinian people and towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He noted that Ra'am was working to prevent the "break-ins" (visits by Jews -ed.) to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to that end it had made moves in cooperation with Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and international bodies.

Abbas objected to Sinwar's call for Israeli Arabs to equip themselves with weapons and knives in the run-up to the great confrontation with Israel, and posed a rhetorical question: Does this serve the interests of Arab society and is it required of it to possess weapons?

Abbas justified the rationale behind his party being a partner in the coalition in an attempt to improve the situation of Israeli Arabs, and in this regard said: “Suppose we topple the government. Will a better government be formed in its place?"