Netanyahu eyeing measures to punish lawmakers for inappropriate behavior


(JTA) — Days after three Arab-Israeli lawmakers met with the families of Palestinians who killed or attempted to kill Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said he would propose legislation that would punish Knesset members for inappropriate behavior.

“I would like to examine new and reinforced legislative changes to ensure that anyone who acts in this direction will not serve in the Israeli Knesset. I think this is an important statement as to what kind of society we want,” Netanyahu said Sunday, adding that he and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein would submit a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee over the incident.

Netanyahu also said Sunday that he asked Israel’s attorney general to consider taking legal action against the three lawmakers — Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List.

“I believe that most citizens of Israel feel that these MKs do not represent them,” he said.

Netanyahu added: “I try to imagine what would happen in the British Parliament or the U.S. Congress if MPs or members of Congress would stand at silent attention for murderers of British or American citizens. I think that there would be a very major outcry, and rightly so.”

The three Arab-Israeli Knesset members met Thursday with the families of three Palestinian attackers whose bodies have not yet been returned to their families, a punitive measure used by Israel. They reportedly observed a moment of silence in memory of the dead terrorists.

Palestinian Media Watch brought the visits to public attention.

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