Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/FLASH90
Basel Ghattas (l), Haneen Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

One of the three Arab MKs who visited the families of terrorists last Tuesday who had murdered or attempted to murder Israeli civilians during the recent wave of violence attempted to justify the actions of the terrorists on Palestinian television yesterday.

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Basel Ghattas was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch during an interview on Palestinian TV in which he appeared to demonstrate that the visit had more to do with supporting the terrorists than merely securing the release of their bodies as originally stated by the three MKs who visited the families.

“The day Arab MPs abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families who have lost their precious sons in the turmoil of the struggle against the oppressive occupation – they did not go to kill or attempt to kill for criminal reasons or illegally – the day we abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families, we will have to vacate our [parliamentary] chairs and leave the keys at home,” Ghattas said.

Originally, the three Arab MKs from the Joint List who visited the families sought to justify their visits by claiming that they were standing with the families in support of their campaign to pressure the Israeli government into releasing the terrorists’ bodies.

Indeed, following a decision taken by the Ethics Committee on Monday which banned Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas from Knesset sessions and Jamal Zahalka for two months, the three issued a joint statement rejecting the decision and restated their primary goal being “the immediate release of the bodies held by the police even after this decision.”

Moreover, Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh also attempted to justify the visits on humanitarian grounds. “The meeting last week was humanitarian and moral. The bodies [of the terrorists] must be released and buried immediately. We must also denounce the Israeli government, which is holding the bodies in freezers,” he said at a Joint List meeting.

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