Minister urges probe of Arab MK for attending event held by terror groups
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Minister urges probe of Arab MK for attending event held by terror groups

Gilad Erdan brands Ayman Odeh an ‘enemy of the state’ after the Joint List party leader took part in PFLP and DFLP conference in Jerusalem that police closed down

Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh (C) argues with police during an event in East Jerusalem hosted by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror groups on June 18, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh (C) argues with police during an event in East Jerusalem hosted by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror groups on June 18, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called Monday for a criminal investigation to be opened into the leader of an Arab Israeli political party who attended a conference hosted by two Palestinian terror groups.

The conference in East Jerusalem, which was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was shuttered by police after an injunction was issued by the Jerusalem police chief. Six people were detained and one person was arrested.

The PFLP and DFLP, both components of the Palestine Liberation Organization, are responsible for a number of deadly terror attacks in Israel over the years.

Among the attendees at the event was MK Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint List party. “They will be defeated and Jerusalem will remain with its people, steadfast, victorious and the capital of Palestine,” a video from the conference showed him telling police.

Erdan said he would immediately request that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit open an investigation into Odeh for allegedly assisting a recognized terror organization.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at a Likud party conference in Lod on December 31, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

“Odeh provided another example of his behavior as an enemy of the state and supporter and accomplice to terror groups’ activities,” Erdan said.

“MK Odeh, your place is not in the Knesset, but jail,” he added.

Jerusalem police commander Yoram Halevi’s order to close down the event came after intelligence indicated the terror groups would hold the conference, police said.

Police would under no circumstances allow an event run by terror groups to take place, they said in a statement.

Odeh and lawmakers from the Joint List have been a frequent target of right-wing lawmakers, with critics accusing them of siding with Palestinian terror groups.

Last month, Odeh raised hackles after confronting police outside the hospital room of an Arab Israeli activist whose knee was allegedly broken by an officer after being arrested during a demonstration against Israel’s response to Hamas-led clashes on the Gaza border. Video of the incident showed Odeh calling a policeman a “loser.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who often rails against the Joint List, branded Odeh a “terrorist” after the incident and said the party’s lawmakers belong in jail. He also called Odeh and his colleagues a “fifth column” and said they should be “outlawed” for supporting the Gaza solidarity protest.

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