(August 5, 2020 / JNS)
Israeli Knesset member Sami Abou Shahadeh of the Joint Arab List’s Balad faction participated in a recent event celebrating the release of convicted terrorist Anis Saffouri, who was sentenced in 2009 to 14 years in prison for conspiring to murder Israeli Air Force pilots, soldiers and even scientists.
Saffouri, a resident of the Israeli-Arab city of Shfaram, was convicted of aiding and abetting the enemy, unlawful affiliation with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons charges.
The pro-Israel watchdog group Im Tirtzu filed a police complaint regarding the incident and also submitted a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee.
According to Im Tirtzu, Shahadeh, along with the other participants at the reception, including former Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka, were in violation of section 24 of Israel’s 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law that criminalizes voicing praise and support for terrorism.
Saffouri was welcomed by hundreds of Shfaram residents last week upon his release from jail, including a Balad delegation.
Members of that delegation spoke at the event and presented Saffouri with an honorary plaque. Balad uploaded pictures and videos from the event to their official Facebook page.
Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk, said: “The time has come to end the double standard in favor of Joint List MKs, who are given free rein by the High Court to promote terrorism and trample on the law.”
“These radical inciters belong in jail rather than in the Knesset,“ continued Nisani, “and we are calling on the Knesset Ethics Committee and the police to bring down the full weight of the law on MK Shahadeh and his terror-supporting colleagues in the Joint List.”
An investigation into the incident has been opened by the Israel Police.
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