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Haneen Zoabi visits Qatar – Hamas' patron

After initial denial, Balad party confirms three Arab MKs flew to Gulf state for interviews with Arab-language press.

Moran Azulay
Published: 08.17.14, 23:06 / Israel News

The three members of Knesset on behalf of Balad, the National Democratic Assembly party, flew to Qatar – the country which funds Hamas and hosts its political leader – after the Gaza terror group's representatives deliberated the Egyptian ceasefire offer in the Gulf state.

 

 

The MKs – Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi, and Basel Ghattas – were interviewed on Arab-language press and met with academics.

 

Various officials in Balad initially denied the trip to Qatar, though they eventually confirmed the itinerary.

 

"MKs Zahalka and Ghattas flew for media interviews in Qatar and also happened to meet with academics," said a statement released by the party, which also confirmed Zoabi's arrival in Qatar.

 

Recently, the Balad MKs were involved in a number of incidents which stirred controversy.

 

Zoabi was investigated by the police last week for alleged incitement to violence and insulting a public worker, while Ghattas stood for a minute of silence in the Knesset plenum in honor of the Palestinian victims in Gaza.

 

Former Balad MK Azmi Bishara currently resides in Qatar after fleeing Israel when he was suspected in spying and aiding Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.

 

Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum, the director-general of Yisrael Beiteinu, criticized the MKs' visit to Qatar. "The Balad party members are dealing these days, together with Hamas chief Mashal and his advisor Bishara, in the corpses of Gazan residents."

 

She said: "Hamas' leadership in Qatar, together with their agents in the Israeli Knesset, is doing everything in its power to torpedo the ceasefire agreement. Balad, like Hamas, want the death of civilians on both sides to continue."

 

Kirschenbaum emphasized that "it is not acceptable that (the party's) members will visit a state which funds terror against Israel and nothing will be done. I call on the Attorney General to investigate the legality of their actions and the purpose of their visit to Qatar."

 

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