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Police, protesters gear up for battle over airport as sides vow no compromise

Cops threaten zero tolerance for demonstrations blocking roads, attacks on cops or ‘state symbols,’; pilots pour cold water on emergency landing justification

Joshua Davidovich is The Times of Israel's Deputy Editor

Israeli demonstrators block a freeway during a protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, July 1, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli demonstrators block a freeway during a protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, July 1, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they unfolded.

Israeli soccer headed to Olympics for first time since 1976 as youth team soars

Israel’s youth soccer team is continuing to turn heads, now clinching a spot for the country in the Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Israel’s U-21 squad, which finished third in the World Cup last month, punched its ticket to Olympics with a win over Georgia on penalties, combined with an England win over Portugal on Sunday, in the UEFA Under-21 European Championship.

Because the top three from the tournament advance, but England cannot qualify for the Olympics, Israel is guaranteed a spot, along with Spain, which plays against France, another automatic qualifier, today.

It is the first time Israeli soccer will be in the Olympics since 1976. Israel has struggled on the international stage since being moved organizationally from Asia to Europe in the 1970s to avoid boycotts, but its youth team has recently found rare success, raising hopes for the future.

Israel will face England in the semifinal on Wednesday.

We’ll fight you to remove outpost, Israel reportedly warns Hezbollah

Israel has reportedly sent a message to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon threatening an armed confrontation if an outpost placed on the UN-monitored frontier are not removed.

Israel tells Hezbollah that the outpost, made up of a few tents, will be removed “even at the cost of days of fighting,” Channel 12 news reports, without a source.

The outpost was set up by the Iran-backed terror group in early April north of the border fence, but on the Israeli side of the internationally recognized Blue Line in the contested Mount Dov region, an area claimed by Israel, Lebanon, and Syria and also known as the Shebaa Farms. The UN and the Lebanese government have both since confirmed it sits south of the Blue Line.

Israeli officials have recently begun leaking details about the outpost and Israel’s attempts to have it removed by diplomatic means, broadcasting its threats to remove the tents by force if need be, but holding out hope for US or French mediation.

According to the station, some in the military preferred to deal with the tents militarily, but others feared an armed confrontation over the tents getting out of control.

Earlier in the day, Energy Minister Israel Katz told a radio station that Israel was trying to let diplomacy work, but “we’ll get rid of this breach one way or another.”

“Israel is not interested in war, the damage it and Lebanon will absorb will be of a severity nothing like the Second Lebanon War,” he said.

He notes that Hezbollah is being squeezed by Iran on one side and Israel on the other, but Israel will take care of what it needs to.

“The easiest thing is to hit the ‘war’ button. We’re not interested in going there, but we won’t allow our red lines to be crossed, and [Hezbollah head Hassan] Nasrallah should know that.”

Grandmother of French teen slain by cops asks rioters to stop

The grandmother of the French teenager shot dead by police during a traffic stop is pleading with rioters to stop, as the nation faces a sixth straight night of unrest.

The grandmother of 17-year-old Nahel, identified only as Nadia, says in a telephone interview with French news broadcaster BFM TV, “Don’t break windows, buses… schools. We want to calm things down.”

She says she is angry at the officer who killed her grandson, but not at the police in general and expresses faith in the justice system, as France faces its worst social upheaval in years. Her grandson, identified by only his first name, was buried on Saturday.

The violence appears to be lessening. But as a new night approaches, the office of Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin says 45,000 police officers will again be deployed in the streets to counter anger over discrimination against people who trace their roots to former French colonies and live in low-income neighborhoods. Nahel is of Algerian descent and was shot in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

President Emmanuel Macron was expected to hold a special security meeting Sunday night, and it is not clear whether he will make public comments. Macron has delayed what would have been the first state visit to Germany by a French president in 23 years, starting Sunday evening.

Ahead of airport protest, top cop vows no tolerance for attacks on ‘state symbols’

Police chief Kobi Shabtai is warning that police will show protesters “zero tolerance” if they harm state symbols or infrastructure, as authorities gird for anti-government protests meant to sow chaos at Ben Gurion airport.

“The police chief emphasized allowing the right to protest as a central pillar of a democratic state,” a police statement reads following a meeting of police brass to discuss the airport protests. “He warned that blocking access routes around the airport and inside it and in areas with strategic or security facilities could cause a disaster in an emergency.”

The statement adds that Shabtai vowed officers would act with “zero tolerance [in cases of] harm to symbols of the state, its infrastructure or police.”

Correcting cops, pilots say airport can handle protests and emergency at same time

An association representing pilots from Israel’s major airlines is blowing holes in police claims that an emergency landing earlier in the day justifies blocking a planned protest at Ben Gurion airport.

Police have repeatedly cited the safe early morning landing of United Airlines flight UA91, which turned back after pilots noticed cracks in a cockpit window, as justification for limiting protests planned for the airport Monday, saying routes need to be kept open for emergency vehicles.

But the pilots say the emergency on the United flight was routine.

“A malfunction like this does not require special preparation from the airport (ambulances, etc.). Since the airport prepared for a large incident, it’s possible there were more or other malfunctions,” the pilot association says.

“The ride the police are trying to hitch as if the protest at the airport tomorrow will harm safety at the airport is exaggerated to the utmost,” the pilots’ group adds. “There are endless quick access routes for emergency vehicles within the airport, and the airport emergency system knows how to use them and will help as needed.”

Airport officials warn incoming pilots of looming disruptions

Israel’s aviation authority has issued a NOTAM, or “notice to airmen,” warning airline pilots of potential disruptions during protests Monday.

The notice warns pilots of “possible delays to flights due to ground interruptions within Ben Gurion Airport,” when translated from aviation abbreviation lingo.

Protesters opposed to the government’s judicial overhaul have vowed to shut down Israel’s main terminal to the outside world Monday by blocking access to the site.

Officials have decided to increase the number of agents working at the airport to deal with the disruptions, and are hoping to keep a limited slate of flights from being canceled, according to Hebrew media reports.

Soldier jailed for throwing rocks at Tel Aviv protesters from army HQ

An Israeli soldier has been jailed for 30 days for hurling stones at protesters in Tel Aviv last night, during a mass demonstration against the government’s planned judicial overhaul.

Footage circulating on social media shows the alleged serviceman, who is masked, standing behind a fence inside the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters in central Tel Aviv. The short clip does not show the soldier throwing stones.

The IDF says it opened an investigation following reports that a soldier had thrown stones, from inside the base, at the nearby protest on Kaplan Street. No injuries were reported.

After the soldier was located and he admitted to the act, he was sentenced by the commander of the base’s security unit to a month in jail, the IDF says.

“The IDF views the soldier’s behavior with severity,” the military says.

A Military Police investigation will not be opened, as the incident was quickly wrapped up by the soldier’s commanders.

Ethics board passes on punishing MK who stole protester’s megaphone

MK Simcha Rothman at a Constitution Committee meeting at the Knesset on March 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Simcha Rothman at a Constitution Committee meeting at the Knesset on March 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset Ethics Committee has cleared lawmaker Simcha Rothman of wrongdoing in an incident in which he angrily snatched a megaphone away from a protester in New York last month, but chides him for his behavior nonetheless.

“Members of the committee found that the incident did not constitute an ethical lapse, but, alongside that, the panel notes that the role of a public servant carries with it the expectation that Knesset members do not get in physical altercations with protesters,” reads the statement signed by ethics board head MK Yinon Azulay of Shas.

Rothman, a main architect of the government’s overhaul plan, was walking with his wife and bodyguards in New York City on June 2, as protesters followed behind shouting slogans at the lawmaker. At one point, in an incident caught on video, he grabbed a megaphone away from a protester and walked away with it, eventually scuffling with protesters trying to grab the device back.

The statement says the ethics board found his behavior to be “borderline self-defense,” noting the close range of the protester and the fact that Rothman felt “personally harassed.”

The panel also appears to sling some criticism toward the New York Police Department and Shin Bet, saying that “it expects that lawmakers’ wellbeing will be protected by law enforcement in a way that allows them to fulfill their tasks.”

Number of administrative detainees 75% more than last year, group says

Fully 23 percent of security prisoners held in Israeli jails are administrative detainees, meaning they are being held without trial under emergency orders based on secret evidence regarding an alleged security threat, an Israeli human rights group says.

Of the 4,885 prisoners currently held on terror convictions or allegations, 1,132 are administrative detainees, according to Israel Prison Service data published by the HaMoked human rights organization. Of those, four are Jewish according to the Honenu organization, which which provides legal aid to right-wing activists.

The figure represents a 75 percent increase over a year earlier, when there were 648 administrative detainees. HaMoked said the 1,132 was highest number of administrative detainees since it began tracking figures in 2008.

The period has seen increased security tensions, with nearly nightly IDF raids in cities and towns in the northern West Bank. Twenty-four people have been killed in terror attacks in Israel or on Israeli security forces so far this year, compared to 31 all last year.

Administrative detainees can be held without charge for six months at a time, on order of the defense minister and under the recommendation of the Shin Bet.

Of those in administrative detention as of March 31 this year, over 550 had been in for six months or less. HaMoked said 15 inmates had been held under the controversial order two years or longer.

“Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial, solely on the basis of secret evidence, preventing any effective judicial review,” HaMoked’s Jessica Montell says. “So this is in fact mass, arbitrary detention of Palestinians.”

Israeli circus artists protest for the release of Palestinian detainee Abu Sakha, a circus performer on a 6-month administrative detention, outside the Megiddo prison northern Israel, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

She also notes the recent use of the order against Jewish Israelis accused of taking part in violent rioting in Palestinian villages last month.

“This just shows how the tactics of occupation are corrosive for Israeli democracy. All administrative detainees must be given a fair trial or released.”

The IDF does not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sharp increase in the use of administrative detention in the last 12 months.

European powers expected to breach Iran nuke deal by leaving sanctions in place

The UK, France and Germany are expected to announce that they will breach the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by refusing to lift sanctions as required by the nearly defunct pact, the Guardian reports.

The US pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018 and Iran has breached its curbs on enrichment levels and stockpile sizes, but London, Paris and Berlin have continued to honor the treaty until now.

But Iran’s sale of arms to Russia, and possible future transfers of ballistic missiles have changed the calculus, along with the breaches of the pact, the Guardian reports, citing diplomats from Britain and the European Union.

The 2015 agreement, known as the JCPOA, included dates when sanctions on Iranian entities would need to be lifted by the West. However, the UK, France and Germany will soon announce they will leave those penalties in place, breaching the deal for the first time.


Ben Gvir tells cops to stand tough against airport protesters

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir says he expects police to “not give in to lawbreakers” when protesters attempt to block Ben-Gurion airport as planned Monday.

In a statement, Ben Gvir says the government “certainly” supports the right to protest, including shouting.

“But blocking cities, blocking streets, paralyzing Ben Gurion Airport — this is a violation of national security,” he says, noting that he heard from senior police officials how dangerous blocking the airport can be.

“I expect the police to enforce the law and to ensure there is no surrender to lawbreakers and people who want to harm democracy,” he says in a statement.

Protest organizers have called on demonstrators to gather outside Terminal 3 at 5:30 p.m. on Monday to block access to the airport.

Police have vowed zero tolerance for attempts to block rights of way and have capped attendance at 5,000, setting up a confrontation with organizers, who have refused to back down.


Reversing earlier testimony, Milchan says he and Netanyahu are BFF, exchanged gifts

Continuing his blockbuster testimony for a second week in the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan tells the court that any gifts exchanged were done mutually so in a spirit of camaraderie.

Offering few words, Milchan confirms a version of events laid out by defense lawyer Amit Hadad, who is seeking to refute charges that the premier’s acceptance of expensive gifts from the producer and others constituted fraud and breach of trust.

Hadad says that the Netanyahu and his wife Sara and Milchan and his wife Amanda were great friends. “You were there for all the big life events. You were there to see each others’ kids grow up,” he says.

“Confirm for me that you thought the gift-giving was mutual,” Haddad says, to which Milchan replies “There was a certain mutuality.”

Hadad: Until the investigations started, you never thought to even think how much the gifts cost.

Milchan: Never.

Hadad: Confirm that the prime minister never complained that you didn’t come bearing cigars.

Milchan: Didn’t happen.

Hadad: That your conversations were talks of closeness and amity.

Milchan: Definitely.

Hadad then treats the court to a lengthy soliloquy about how everyone knows that Netanyahu and Milchan are best friends, which Milchan also confirms (“like family”), adding as a cherry on top that he did not hide the gifts because there was no reason to hide them.

As for code words given to the gifts, Milchan explains those away as “silliness between friends.”

The testimony appears to contradict Milchan’s earlier account of being frustrated at the systemic way he was expected to ply the Netanyahus with cigars, champagne and jewelry, with no gifts in return.

Queried about why he told the court he wasn’t friends with Netanyahu, Milchan calls it a “strange phrase.”

“I don’t know why I said it. He’s a friend to this day,” he says.

I don’t know why exactly I said it or how [it happened]

Hadad proposes as a theory that perhaps when the cops came knocking and presented him with a less than complimentary portrait of Netanyahu “you got worked up and thought ‘how did my good friend Bibi let it get to this,’ and so added things that never happened.”

“I don’t know why I said [it or] how [it happened]. I was under pressure,” Milchan replies.



Police to study France riots, pointing to worries of unrest in Israel

Protesters walk past a burnt out trash bin during clashes with police in Marseille, southern France on July 1, 2023, after a fourth consecutive night of rioting in France over the killing of a teenager by police. (CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)
Protesters walk past a burnt out trash bin during clashes with police in Marseille, southern France on July 1, 2023, after a fourth consecutive night of rioting in France over the killing of a teenager by police. (CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

The Israel Police will study the nightly rioting happening in France to learn how it developed, a police spokesperson says, signaling fears that Israel could experience similar unrest.

France has seen five nights of rioting by youths enraged at the police killing last week of a Muslim teen, setting fire to or vandalizing homes, shops and cars and clashing with police.

The 17-year-old, identified only as Nahel, was killed during a traffic stop Tuesday, in a case freighted with charges of systemic discrimination against Arabs.

Video of the killing showed two officers at the window of the car, one with his gun pointed at the driver. As the teenager pulled forward, the officer fired once through the windshield. The officer accused of killing Nahel was given a preliminary charge of voluntary homicide.

The reaction to the killing was a potent reminder of the persistent poverty, discrimination and limited job prospects in neighborhoods around France where many trace their roots to former French colonies.

But in Israel, police say they can learn from France’s experience, amid worries that the country could descend into the kind of intercommunity rioting that rocked the country in May 2021.

During a meeting Sunday morning, police chief Kobi Shabtai ordered the heads of the operational, intelligence and foreign relations divisions “to study what led to the protests and the extreme reaction of the French protesters, what the police’s orders were, how they acted before the event that led to the protest, and what during the event led to violent riots across France,” a police statement says.

The promotion of far-right hardliner Itamar Ben Gvir to national security minister, with responsibility over the police, has sparked concerns of increased tensions between cops and Arab Israelis.

Police have also been challenged by the resumption of mass protests against the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary. In a number of instances, arrests of protesters have led to mass demonstrations outside police stations.

In France, more than 3,000 people have been detained since Nahel’s death. The mass police deployment has been welcomed by some frightened residents of targeted neighborhoods and shop owners whose stores have been ransacked — but it has further frustrated those who see police behavior as the core of France’s current crisis.

Hundreds of police and firefighters have been injured in the violence, although authorities haven’t said how many protesters have been hurt. In French Guiana, an overseas territory, a 54-year-old died after being hit by a stray bullet.

Coalition dangles offer to back Lapid on elevating Declaration of Independence

A government panel says it would support an opposition bill to elevate the Declaration of Independence to the status of a Basic Law — provided that the opposition supports its controversial plan to remake Israel’s judiciary.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid has proposed to enshrine the 1948 document, which lacks formal legal power, into a quasi-constitutional Basic Law.

Rather than reject Lapid’s bill out of hand, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation says it has decided to “support” the bill, “contingent upon opposition support for judicial reform.”

Lapid co-leads the opposition’s fight against the coalition plan to drastically curtail judicial power, and has railed against its latest unilateral effort to eliminate judicial review of elected officials’ decisions.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the ideological weight behind the reform, chairs the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

Knesset counsel says speaker was right to muzzle mom with baby at podium

Screen capture from video of National Unity MK Sharren Haskel, left, wearing her baby daughter in a sling, and Deputy Knesset Speaker of Shas, Uriel Buso, in the Knesset, June 27, 2023. (Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of National Unity MK Sharren Haskel, left, wearing her baby daughter in a sling, and Deputy Knesset Speaker of Shas, Uriel Buso, in the Knesset, June 27, 2023. (Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Sling… and a miss.

MK Sharren Haskel is getting pushback from Knesset legal adviser Sagit Afik, who throws some shade at the National Unity lawmaker for trying to deliver a speech from the plenum while carrying her young daughter in a sling last week.

In a letter partially leaked to the press, Afik recalls all the special benefits Haskel has received for being a mom lawmaker.

“My understanding is the Knesset already gave you a larger and more spacious room than normal and on the government floor to make it easier for you as the mom of an infant to do your job,” reads the letter, which also notes the extra large vehicle she got “for the kids and strollers.”

“Recently, the ethics committee deviated from ethical norms and approved you receiving money for a nanny instead of a parliamentary aide when you traveled abroad,” Afik adds.

She notes though, that inside the Knesset plenum there are “clear rules regarding what is allowed, especially at the rostrum, and the Knesset speaker is authorized to act according to them.

Haskel, who gave birth to twin girls in July 2022, had intended to present a bill to the plenum when she approached with her daughter in a sling, saying that she was being too fussy to be left alone. Deputy Knesset Speaker Uriel Buso of the Shas party told her that according to regulations, only members of Knesset are permitted to stand at the podium.

Legal advisers consulted at the time confirmed Buso’s contention and also rejected a compromise for her to present the bill from the side of the podium.

Responding to Afik’s letter Sunday, Haskel says through her spokesperson that she is disappointed by the Knesset’s decision to have her dressed down by the legal adviser.

Noting that he Knesset speaker had leeway to use common sense, she says “it’s a shame that this is how they are using their ‘common sense.'”

Third pipeline planned to pump up Leviathan gas production

Israel's offshore Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Israel's offshore Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

An energy consortium will build a third undersea pipeline to boost output from the Leviathan natural gas field off the Israeli coast, the companies say.

The $568 million project is announced by partners NewMed Energy, Chevron Mediterranean Limited and Ratio Energies.

The third subsea pipeline will be laid from the field to an existing production platform located about 10 kilometers (six miles) off the Israeli coastal village of Dor.

It will boost production capacity from about 12 billion cubic meters to nearly 14 billion cubic meters per year, with the first gas flows to start in the second half of 2025.

The offshore gas field, the biggest in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone, is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of the port city of Haifa.

Discovered in 2010, the field contains exploitable resources estimated at 605 billion cubic meters of natural gas, according to the US-Israeli consortium.

It supplies the Israeli gas market as well as Jordan and Egypt.

Yossi Abu, CEO of NewMed Energy, says “the third pipeline project is an initial, significant and important step in expanding Leviathan.

The expansion “will allow us to supply more natural gas to the local, regional and, very soon, also the global market.”

Ministers hold off on bill that would extend the long arm of Ben Gvir

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 2, 2023. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 2, 2023. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Ministers are punting for now on whether to back a proposed bill that would give far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir sweeping powers.

The proposal, submitted by a member of Ben Gvir’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party, is aimed at expanding use of the controversial tool of administrative detention, which currently can be utilized by the defense minister to hold terror suspects without trial.

After discussion, the ministers decide to hold off on determining if they will back the measure or let it go to the Knesset as a private bill, which would make it less likely to survive.

Among the other tools the proposal hands Ben Gvir — in cases where he is “convinced that there’s a reasonable concern of harm to public security” — are the ability to impose travel restrictions within Israel or a ban on leaving the country; requiring people to live in certain areas; and prohibitions on the purchase of “certain” goods and services, among other radical measures.

UAE pressed over mass imprisonments ahead of climate meet

The United Arab Emirates, host of this year’s UN climate talks, must release dozens of Emirati nationals “unjustly imprisoned” in a 2013 mass trial, Amnesty International says, decrying the country’s rights record.

In a statement marking a decade since the trial concluded, Amnesty warns that the COP28 meeting would be “tarnished by repression” if the 60 Emiratis still languishing in prison are not immediately freed.

The UAE “government has not released any of the 60 Emiratis it unjustly imprisoned in the notorious mass trial of 2013, even though 51 of those detained have completed their sentence,” says Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s regional director for the Middle East.

The so-called “UAE94” trial followed a spate of arrests and persecutions in 2012 targeting 94 Emirati critics of the government, including activists, lawyers, students and teachers.

The UAE charged dozens of suspects with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which it considers a “terrorist group.”

Of the 69 convicted, 60 remain in prison, including 51 who are undergoing “counter-extremism counselling,” Amnesty says.

Likud minister urges condemnation of ex-prosecutor who panned judges

Education Minister Yoav Kisch is calling on Supreme Court president Esther Hayut to condemn former state prosecutor Moshe Lador, who had harsh words a day earlier for the district court judges in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial.

On Saturday, Lador told attendees at a cultural event that judges had made an “unprecedented error” by convening attorneys in the Netanyahu case privately and telling the prosecution that its bribery charge didn’t have a good chance at standing up. He said the move, with some witnesses yet to be called, was a “hit job.”

Former State Attorney Moshe Lador attends a conference at the Knesset on December 11, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“I expect President Hayut to condemn these harsh words against judges,” Kisch tells Army Radio. “What would happen if someone from the government came and said something like that? The country would lose its mind, you can’t have double standards.”

In fact, government rhetoric regularly traffics in accusations against the judges. The government has also pressed forward with a controversial plan to weaken the judiciary.

Visiting courts in southern Israel as part of a farewell tour, Hayut does not condemn Lador but does speak up for the bench, saying judges “do their work faithfully, professionally and fearlessly.”

Government backs loyalty pledge for diplomatic postings

The government has thrown its weight behind a draft bill to force senior Israeli diplomats to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, as a pre-condition to receiving their postings.

Backed by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and advanced by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, the bill would amend the law on diplomatic service appointments to say that the heads of diplomatic missions and consulates have to swear fealty before receiving their official appointments.

The new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv on July 14, 2021. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Last year, the former government considered appointing then-lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi as consul in Shanghai, as part of an attempt to remove her from the Knesset.

Rinawie Zoabi torpedoed key votes as part of her criticism of Israel’s treatment toward Palestinians and its Arab citizens.

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