Egypt MP who met Israeli envoy suspended for 10 sessions

Egypt's parliament on Monday voted in favor of suspending a parliamentarian who met Israel's ambassador to Egypt for 10 plenary sessions, the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

According to the report, the MP, Tawfik Okasha, was suspended for insulting the House speaker and not for his meeting with the Israeli ambassador, though another special ‎committee had been formed to take charge ‎of questioning Okasha for that meeting.

A report prepared by a special parliamentary ‎committee found Okasha ‎guilty of directing an insult to constitutional law professor and parliament ‎speaker Ali ‎Abdel-Al in a plenary session last week.

The committee said that many MPs testified that ‎Okasha showed disrespect for the ‎speaker and disrupted old ‎parliamentary rules and precedents during the ‎‎session.

The committee originally decided that Okasha ‎be banned from attending three plenary ‎sessions only, but upon the request of many MPs, parliament voted in favo of stiffening the ‎penalty to 10 sessions, according to Al-Ahram‎.

Okasha, who is also a controversial television host, caused an outrage among his colleagues after he invited Israeli ambassador Haim Koren to dinner, where the two reportedly discussed issues pertaining to Israel and Egypt.

Several parliamentarians in Egypt demanded that Okasha be sanctioned over the meeting, which they claimed shows willingness for “normalization with Israeli officials”.

On Sunday, Okasha came under physical attack in parliament, as MP Kamal Ahmed furiously threw his shoe at his colleague in protest of his meeting with the Israeli envoy.

Ironically, Okasha, who ran for the presidency in Egypt in the past, once called for the Egyptian Army to engage in armed warfare against Israel.

In 2012 he was sentenced to to four months in prison for defaming then-President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/208716

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