update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Arab Knesset member says Hamas ‘part of Palestinian people’

Hadash-Ta'al MK Aida Touma-Sliman also downplays Oct. 7.

Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman leads a Status of Women and Gender Equality Committee meeting at the Israeli parliament, Nov. 21, 2017. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman leads a Status of Women and Gender Equality Committee meeting at the Israeli parliament, Nov. 21, 2017. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

The Hamas terrorist organization is part of the Palestinian people, Israeli Arab lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman emphasized at a far-left conference in Berlin on Saturday, while casting doubt on the Oct. 7 atrocities.

“When you and me will think of what Hamas did or did not, it’s part of the Palestinian people,” the Hadash-Ta’al parliamentarian said during a panel discussion hosted by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in the German capital.

While claiming she was not seeking to draw a parallel, Touma-Sliman said Hamas represents the Palestinians, just as “there are people among the Jewish society, the Israeli society, that are terrorizing people every day.”

JNS contacted the Israel Police regarding Touma-Sliman’s remarks but did not receive a response by press time.

In a statement issued following the panel discussion, the lawmaker said, “I did not doubt even for a moment the horrors of Oct. 7,” claiming she “spoke throughout my visit to Germany about the pain of both sides and the need for a deal to release the hostages and stop the war.

“The illusion of eliminating Hamas led to tens of thousands of deaths in Gaza and irreversible damage to Israeli society internally,” she added.

On Oct. 7, Hamas-led terrorists murdered some 1,200 people, mainly Jewish civilians, in Israel in what has been described as the deadliest antisemitic attack since the Holocaust. Thousands more were wounded and roughly 250 kidnapped back to Gaza. Terrorists committed rape, sexual abuse, torture, burning and desecration of corpses.

A month after the massacre, Knesset members were invited to view a compilation of video footage showing some of the atrocities. It is not clear whether Touma-Sliman showed up to view the 43-minute video.

Earlier this year, legislation criminalizing the denial or downplaying of the Oct. 7 massacre passed a preliminary reading in parliament.

Thirty-two percent of Israeli Arabs do not believe that Hamas terrorists intentionally targeted women and children during the Oct. 7 massacre, according to a survey carried out by Tel Aviv University last year.

Meanwhile, some two-thirds of Palestinians believe the Gaza terrorist organization was “correct” in launching the murderous cross-border attacks, a Ramallah-based polling institute said last week.

Touma-Sliman was previously suspended for two months and received a two-week pay freeze for falsely accusing the IDF of attacking Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with white phosphorous bombs and of shooting civilians attempting to evacuate along humanitarian corridors.

Last month, United Arab List (Ra’am) Party chairman Mansour Abbas said Hamas is “of course” a legitimate part of the Palestinian people.

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