Netanyahu is supported across the political spectrum in demanding that Arab Knesset members who console the families of Palestinian terrorists have no place in Israel’s parliament.
Several Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are calling for punitive measures against Arab Members of Knesset who made a condolence visit to the families of terrorists on Tuesday.
Arab MKs of the Balad faction of the Joint List party visited families of terrorists whose bodies are being held by Israel. Among the MKs was Hanin Zoabi, whose many activities against the Jewish state include, for example, an interview she gave to a Hamas newspaper in October, calling upon Palestinians to rise up against Israel with a “true intifada.”
Ghattas, against Netanyahu’s orders, ascended the Temple Mount in October, stating that Israel has “no sovereignty over Jerusalem,” the Israeli capital. In late September, Zahalka was documented abusing Jewish visitors and security officials at the holy site.
Indeed, the current wave of Palestinian terror began on the eve of Jewish New Year in September, when Palestinians began rioting on the Temple Mount, protesting Jewish visitors the the site and falsely alleging that Israel had plans to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque. To date, 130 Israelis have been killed and close to 300 wounded – 27 seriously.
“Members of Knesset who go to console the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset. I have asked the Speaker of the Knesset to examine what measures can be taken against them,” Netanyahu stated.
The father of the dead terrorist, as recorded on video, acknowledged that the “Palestinian” Knesset members “listened to the suffering and pain of the shaheed‘s [martyr’s] families, whose bodies are held in Israel,” and that they promised to make every effort to pressure the Israeli government to return the bodies.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called upon governmental legal advisers to examine whether the visit constituted a criminal offense by supporting acts of murder and terror. He also vowed that the bodies of the victims would not be released unconditionally.
“The bodies of the terrorists will not be released until their families meet the demands of the police that are intended to ensure that the funerals will not turn into demonstrations of incitement and support for terrorism. Arab MKs just did exactly the opposite,” Erdan declared.
Yesh Atid Party Chairman Yair Lapid also condemned the visit, arguing that it was an unprecedented show of solidarity by the Joint List with those who murder innocent people and that it reflected hatred and subversion against the State of Israel.
“We cannot meet such heinous acts with silence. We must condemn the MKs who met with the families of the despicable terrorists,” Lapid said.
Yisrael Beiteinu Party Chairman Avigdor Liberman, who has been leading the campaign to remove Zoabi from the Knesset, stated:
“There is no longer any need for proof that Joint List MKs are a party filled with representatives of terror in the Knesset. The visit to families of those who killed Jews is simply a reminder to those who still don’t get it that these terrorists must be removed from the Knesset as soon as possible and, ideally, from the State of Israel.”
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett said that the visit “is a black stain that will be recorded in the chronicles of the state. “I am calling out to the Arab public: You are better than this. Cast these people out. We need to be a unified state, and there is not unity if Knesset members go and meet our enemies and killers.”
“The visit by Balad Knesset members to the terrorists’ families encourages continued terrorism and murder of innocent people,” the opposition Zionist Union party said in a statement.