Likud MK Ofir Akunis submitted a request to Israel Central Elections committee chair Elyakim Rubinstein to bar MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from running in the next Knesset elections in January.
Akunis claimed that Zoabi violated the Knesset’s basic law, which forbids those who support, or act to further the agendas of, enemy states or terrorist organizations from taking part in elections.
Akunis said that Zoabi, who was on the Mavi Marmara, one of a flotilla of ships that attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010, took part in what constituted a terror attack against IDF soldiers. “She was involved in an act of terrorism,” he said Tuesday.
All ships in the flotilla allowed IDF troops to commandeer and steer them into port. But naval commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara, on which Zoabi was also sailing, were attacked by club-wielding activists. The melee between activists aboard the Mavi Marmara and the IDF soldiers who boarded the craft left seven soldiers injured and nine Turkish civilians dead.
Following the May 2010 Gaza flotilla, the Knesset voted in favor of stripping Zoabi of her diplomatic passport, entitlement to financial assistance for legal aid, and the right to visit countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations. She was also denied the right to participate in Knesset discussions and to vote in parliamentary committees.
Zoabi has called the flotilla in which she participated “humanitarian and legal.” She petitioned the High Court of Justice in June against the Knesset’s move, and the court decided to address the petition at a later date.
“Those who should be in court are the people who imposed the naval blockade and who are suppressing the Palestinian people — [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, and [former chief of staff] Gabi Ashkenazi,” she said in June.
Yoel Goldman and Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report