President Reuven Rivlin has declined Balad head MK Jamal Zahalka's request to visit and take part in a meeting with Arab leaders.
The refusal was due to his and other Balad MKs' visit to the families of terrorists in order to offer them support.
Though Zahalka received an invitation to the meeting, it was sent before his went to the families. Today he asked for permission to attend the meeting and the President's residence informed him that he was not welcome, because the President does not intend to hurt the feelings of Israeli citizens.
The Joint List responded to the decision with anger, and its members who were invited and welcomed decided to boycott the event.
At the beginning of February, three Arab MKs from the Joint List met with the families of terrorists who had murdered Jewish Israelis. News of the visit caused widespread anger and condemnation. Even now, the Knesset is considering legislation to permit suspending MKs in such circumstances.