2016-02-17 / Mideast

Arab MKs suspended for meeting families

Three Arab-Israeli Knesset members have been suspended from the parliament for meeting with the families of Palestinians who were killed while perpetrating terror attacks.

The Knesset Ethics Committee approved the disciplinary move against Haneen Zoabi, Basel Ghatta and Jamal Zahalka—members of the Joint Arab List’s Balad faction—i24news reported. Zoabi and Ghatta are suspended for four months, while Zahalka received a two-month suspension. While suspended, they may not participate in Knesset meetings, but will be allowed to vote and attend committee meetings.

Also, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition approved introducing a bill that would allow lawmakers to be suspended or expelled for engaging in “behavior inappropriate for their position as a member of the Knesset.” The legislation, which would require a vote of 90 Knesset members to suspend or expel any member, will go before the Knesset Law and Justice Committee, according to Haaretz.

Netanyahu proposed the legislation in response to the visit by Zoabi, Ghatta and Zahalka with families of several assailants who killed or tried to kill Israelis. They include Baha Alian, who allegedly killed three Israelis and wounded a dozen others in an Oct. 13 terror attack on a bus. (JTA)

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