MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) defended her participation in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla at a High Court of Justice hearing on Tuesday, saying she would participate in future flotillas protesting the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Zoabi called the flotilla in which she participated “humanitarian and legal,” and the Knesset’s revocation of her parliamentary privileges a “political punishment, political revenge.”
Zoabi has petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Knesset’s move.
“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.
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.
The High Court of Justice decided on Tuesday to defer a decision in Zoabi’s appeal to a later date.
The Turkish ship Mavi Marmara headed a flotilla of ships that tried to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in May 2010. Nine people were killed in clashes between protesters and IDF troops who boarded the Mavi Marmara.