Reports revealing that additional Arab members of Knesset had met with Hamas figures in
the West Bank stirred a storm in the halls of parliament on Friday, some MKs calling to have their immunity removed immediately and their parties disqualified.
"If Arab members of Knesset sanctify martyrdom so much, they should become martyrs themselves and serve as role models," said MK Miri Regev (Likud).
"Then, they'll make room for the Arab public to elect more suitable representatives and not terror supporters," she added.
On Thursday, Ynet reported
that a photo of MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad)
alongside four known Hamas members was uncovered during an IDF raid on Hamas offices in the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
Ganaim and Sarsur with Dwaik
The photo, taken in June 2009 depicts a smiling Zoabi alongside Hamas parliamentary
speaker Aziz Dwaik – the movement's most senior representative in the West Bank – and Mariam Saleh, the former minister of women's affairs in Hamas government in Gaza.
On Friday it was revealed that two United Arab List-Ta'al
MKs had also met with the Hamas figures earlier.
Masud Ganaim and Ibrahim Sarsur visited the home of Dwaik, 64, to offer their support after he was released from an Israeli prison in June 2009. Dwaik was arrested again on Thursday.
MK Anastasia Michaeli, who was suspended
from Knesset after she spilled a glass of water on MK Raleb Majadele during a Knesset discussion called for the "immediate establishment of a parliamentary commission of inquiry."
Michaeli added that "these criminals' immunity must be revoked immediately as well as their wages. We must act firmly against them for betraying the State of Israel.
We must also make sure that this sort of betrayal leads to the disqualification of such parties."
MK Zoabi (L) with Dwaik (near door)
MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima)
said he will approach the Knesset's legal adviser "to examine whether their acts constitute harm to the state's security and a breach of trust as well as support of a terrorist organization – offenses that will prevent them from serving as members of Knesset," he said.
Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh added that Ganaim and Sarsur "should resign and move to Gaza to sit with their friends from Hamas."
Earlier on Friday, Ganaim and Sarsur claimed the meeting was legitimate as the people concerned were "political figures fighting against the occupation."
MK Ganaim said, "We visited the house together with several other members of the Palestinian council. Hamas was legally and legitimately elected in what the whole world admitted were just elections and we went to visit the officials after they were released from jail."
Referring to claims they were in contact with figures who were jailed for aiding terror, Ganaim said: "As political figures they should never have been arrested. Our arrival there was not in violation of the law. I, as a Knesset member or a private person, am allowed to visit a person who was wrongly arrested. It has never been proven they were involved in the alleged activity. They have a right as occupied individuals to fight for life in dignity."