update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Ben-Gvir asks AG to charge Tibi with incitement over Jenin speech

"MK Tibi incited against the State of Israel and undermined its sovereignty and existence," the minister wrote.

MK Ahmad Tibi speaks in Shfar'am in the Galilee, March 2, 2020. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.
MK Ahmad Tibi speaks in Shfar'am in the Galilee, March 2, 2020. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir wants the state to charge Hadash-Ta’al MK Ahmad Tibi with incitement over a fiery speech he gave in Jenin.

The head of the Otzma Yehudit Party asked Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on Wednesday to remove Tibi’s parliamentary immunity and order the opening of an investigation against him for incitement to terrorism and sedition.

The letter cites comments the Arab-Israeli politician made this week at a graduation ceremony at the Arab American University in Jenin.

“Our sons are here and all the Palestinians, when they excel, resist and fight each in their own way,” Tibi said from the stage to the applause of the audience.

“They will lead this nation to freedom. I am here to celebrate this joy with you and to tell the doctors and dentists that this is actually your specialty: Together let’s uproot the occupation from the roots, from the roots. Because this occupation needs to end.”

In the letter to Baharav-Miara, Ben-Gvir writes that “in his speech, MK Tibi incited against the State of Israel and undermined its sovereignty and existence as a state,” while also noting that Jenin is a hotbed of terrorism.

“Many terrorists came out from the city of Jenin with the aim of murdering and harming Jews because of their Jewish identity. Just from the beginning of this year until the end of June, more than 50 shooting attacks were carried out by terrorists who came out of the Jenin area. Heroic IDF soldiers fell while working to eliminate the nests of terrorism in this bloody city and at the time of writing these lines their blood has not yet dried,” the minister wrote.

“It is impossible to imagine a situation in which a member of the Knesset, an elected member of the Israeli Knesset, chooses to incite those young men and women with his words to fight and fight against the sovereignty and existence of the State of Israel,” he continued.

“In his words, MK Tibi violated many provisions of the Israeli law book. MK Tibi is fanning the flames of hatred against the State of Israel and against the ‘occupier’ while praising the terrorists and inciting the local population against Israel’s sovereignty in the Land of Israel, as well as inciting disputes between the Arab population and the Jewish population.”

Tibi served as a political adviser to PLO head Yasser Arafat from 1993 to 1999, representing the terrorist organization at the 1998 Wye River negotiations. He resigned from the post in 1999 upon deciding to run for Knesset.

Ben-Gvir has prevented Tibi from visiting the Palestinians arrested on suspicion involvement in the violent clashes with Jewish Israelis near Burqa in Samaria on Aug. 4.

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