Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded sharply on Wednesday to comments made by Joint List MK Hanin Zoabi in the Knesset labelling IDF soldiers “terrorists” and condemning Israel for committing “murder”.
“The soldiers of the IDF will continue to fight terrorists on land, sea, and air, including terrorists sailing on the sea [in flotillas], and who happen to be Knesset members,” Liberman wrote, making a thinly veiled reference to Zoabi as a “terrorist”.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for his part, consulted with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit over the possible expulsion of Zoabi from the Knesset.
Zoabi’s comments came following the cabinet’s ratification of a reconciliation deal normalizing relations with Turkey after six years of diplomatic estrangement.
The deal, which requires Israel to transfer $20 million to a compensation fund to be paid out to the families of 10 Turkish terrorists killed while attacking IDF soldiers, was cited by Zoabi as an admission of guilt by Israel, or as she put it, “a murder confession”. The Joint List MK then demanded her critics apologize to her, and pledged to donate money towards new flotillas in an effort to break Israel’s security blockade against the Hamas regime in Gaza.
Three Knesset members – Amir Ohana (Likud), Nahman Shai (Yesh Atid), and Nava Boker (Likud) all filed complaints against Zoabi in the Knesset’s Ethics Committee, calling for her suspension.
Coalition Chairman David Bitan suggested on Wednesday to shelve the controversial “expulsion law” – which would allow the Knesset to expel MKs accused of supporting terror – in exchange for a bill directed specifically at Zoabi.