Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS
MK Hanin Zoabi

In July 2014, MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) cursed out Arab policemen who testified at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court. In the presence of a large crowd, including families of the detainees and lawyers who were waiting outside the court room, Zoabi humiliated the cops and told the crowd that “We should spit in their faces,” “Mop up the floor with them,” urged the crowd: “Do not shake their hand,” and said, “Let them fear us and the Shabab (youths) who are arrested because of them.” In addition, she called them traitors for serving in the Israeli police.

The policemen were there to testify at a hearing to extend the detention of suspects who participated in riots in Nazareth, after the murder of the boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem.

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Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Monday informed Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein of an indictment against MK Zoabi, for insulting a public servant. Weinstein wrote that subject to the Knesset Members Immunity Law, he would issue the indictment in accordance with the plea bargain signed between the parties.

According to the arrangement, Zoabi will announce that she waives any claim against fling the indictment under the Knesset immunity law, and in return she would not be charged with incitement to racism or with threats. As part of the plea bargain, Zoabi signed an apology that said: “My words against Arab police were uttered out of an emotional storm. Such expressions do not represent my style or my way, and I did not mean to harm any person. I’m sorry for saying those things and I apologize to anyone who was hurt. That event was an exception because making improper remarks is not my way.”

The prosecution had initially planned to indict Zoabi for making threats and inciting to racism, but according to the agreement with her attorneys she will only admit to the charge of insulting a public servant and apologize, following which the parties are free to argue for the punishment. The prosecution will ask for probation and Zoabi’s representatives will seek a fine. The indictment will be filed in Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in the coming weeks.

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