The investigation against MK Ayman Odeh (Joint List) has been closed after 2 years after he called for Arab members of security forces to lay down their arms.

In a video he filmed in the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, he declared: “Recently, I have met with many groups from occupied Arab Jerusalem. Young Palestinians with Israeli citizenship tell me that they are being assaulted and degraded. It is important for me to say from here, at Bab al-Amud, that this is a new low, for one of our number to join the occupation forces. The forces here degrade our people, humiliate our families, and disrespect everybody who comes to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He called for Palestinian youth not to join the security forces or the civilians who worked for them, and instead to rebel. “Our historic position is that we will be with our brethren and end the murderous occupation so that a Palestinian state will be established, in which Palestinian flags can be flown over Jerusalem and there can be peace upon the land of peace. We cannot have youths joining the occupation forces. I call for any youths who have joined already, which is not more than one percent of their total number, just a few thousand, but whose decision to join is insulting and demeaning, to throw their arms back in the occupation’s face and tell them that your place is not with them. We will not be part of this crime and sin.”

“Our place is with justice and truth, against the occupation. Our place is natural, as a part of the Palestinian people in a just war to end the criminal occupation and bring peace upon the land of peace,” he concluded.

Attorney Shimon Huja, the deputy prosecutor for special cases, wrote that the Attorney General had instructed the case to be closed and not to summon Odeh for questioning because, among other things, there was a doubt as to whether or not his comments constituted the crimes of incitement, calls to refuse service, and calls to rebel.

Elsewhere in the decision, it was written that “One must also consider the prosecution’s policy of care when enforcing the law regarding calls to rebel or incitement to refuse to serve, which go hand in hand with the decisions of the courts in all matters related to enforcement of anything connected to freedom of expression. This, along with similar calls in the past regarding other populations in Israel, especially when the matter at hand is a public and inherently political affair, make a different approach necessary, in which they receive particularly broad protection.”

Huja concluded: “I emphasize that there is nothing in this decision that indicates that we do not take the public impact of the statements seriously, only a decision that there is no room to continue handling this case as a matter of criminal law, for the reasons stated above. For this reason, the Attorney General has ordered that the case be closed against several public figures who have made statements similar to Odeh’s, including Raja Zaatarah, a member of the Haifa city council, and Amal Orabi, a former broadcaster.”

Shai Glick, director of the B’Tsalmo organization, responded: “This is a sad decision that constitutes a prize for hate and incitement, and offends every Muslim police officer. Instead of encouraging the Arab population of Israel to enlist, he spits in their faces. It is unreasonable that at a time like this when soldiers and officers are fighting bravely, a decision like this should be made. I intend to appeal this decision and call on the Minister of National Security, my friend Itamar Ben-Gvir, to likewise file a complaint and join the appeal.”