Three Arab-Israeli lawmakers have been suspended from the Knesset

Published February 9th, 2016 - 10:35 GMT
They were punished for having visited the families of Palestinian attackers. (AFP/File)
They were punished for having visited the families of Palestinian attackers. (AFP/File)

In a move which has been described as "anti-democratic" and "unethical," Israel's parliament, the Knesset, has suspended three Arab-Israeli politicians for a period of two to four months. The suspensions are a punishment for recent visits those politicians had made to the families of Palestinian attackers who had been killed by Israeli forces.

One of the families the leaders had met with was the Eliyan family of East Jerusalem, who Al Bawaba also visited in October.

Israel-Palestine has seen a wave of violence since early October, as young Palestinians frustrated by the occupation have carried out a series of stabbing, car ramming and shooting attacks on Israelis. Over 160 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed in the violence, which has also seen Israeli forces use live fire to squash popular protests. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself led the campaign to suspend the Arab parliament members. Netanyahu asked Israel's attorney general to take legal action against them for "going to comfort the families of murderers," according to Maan News. 

Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas were suspended for four months while Jamal Zahalka was suspended for two months, the outlet reported. The three politicians will still be able to vote in the plenum and in committees. 

 


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