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Israel Police: Put lawmaker Hanin Zoabi on trial for incitement

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TEL AVIV (JTA) –The Israel Police recommended that Hanin Zoabi be put on trial after the Arab-Israeli Knesset member allegedly insulted and threatened officers during an interrogation.

Zoabi, of the Balad party, should be tried for inciting to violence, making threats and insulting a public servant, the police said Tuesday, according to Haaretz.

During an interrogation last week over a previous incident, police alleged that Zoabi called the Arab-Israeli officers “collaborators” who should be used “to wipe the floor.” Zoabi also allegedly told the policemen that they should fear violent Palestinian youth.

“The decision is not the result of my investigation, in which I answered in detail all the allegations against me, but rather of a warlike, racist and fascist atmosphere casting a shadow on Israeli authorities,” Zoabi said following the questioning, according to Haaretz. “It was the same with the scandalous and unprecedented decision to expel me from the Knesset for six months for things that I said in the course of fulfilling my duty, about which the attorney general explicitly determined not to constitute an infraction of the law.”

Zoabi was referring to a decision to suspend her from parliamentary activity over statements she made regarding the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, which she said was not a terrorist act.

In a separate incident, Zoabi and two other Balad Knesset members, Basel Ghattas and Jamal Zahalka, are being investigated by the Knesset Ethics Committee for a trip they took last week to Qatar, where they met with former Balad Knesset member Azmi Bishara. Bishara fled Israel in 2007 following allegations that he had spied for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The Ethics Committee is investigating the three lawmakers because they did not receive prior permission for the trip, nor did they disclose who funded it.

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