Ahmed Tibi
Ahmed TibiOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

An Israeli Arab lawmaker clashed with right-wing MKs during a Knesset committee hearing Monday, after he compared Israeli police officers to terrorists.

The incident occurred during a hearing of the Knesset’s House Committee Monday morning, as committee members discussed proposed legislation which would enable the Interior Ministry to strip convicted terrorists of their Israeli citizenship.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta’al), who served as an aide to then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat during the 1990s, decried the proposal as a “populist” bill, comparing Israeli police officers to terrorists, and accusing security personnel who neutralize terrorists of “murdering” Arabs.

“Would you ever dream of taking away the citizenship of the prime minister’s assassin? And when it comes to the murder of Arabs, it’s different. This is a populist bill.”

“There are police officers who have murdered Arabs, and then get promoted.”

Other MKs present at the hearing fired back: “This is the Jewish state, you are a terror-supporter. We’re done apologizing for this.”

MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party) said Israel “Had become used to over the course of years to having the Palestinian Authority support terrorism, while getting money from the State of Israel. They have rates they pay for the murder of Jews.”

At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee voted to enable committee chairman Ofir Katz (Likud) to fast track the bill, clearing the way for its passage in the Knesset in roughly two weeks.