Photo: Hagai Aharon
MK Jamal Zahalka
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Arab MKs shun abductees

Arab Knesset members only ones who refuse to sign letter calling for international support in effort to get sign of life from kidnapped IDF soldiers; Arab parliamentarian: Initiative aimed at making political gains

Leaders of Arab factions in the Israeli Knesset were the only ones who refused to sign a letter addressed to international parliament speakers that calls on them to act in an effort to elicit information about the three abducted IDF soldiers.


A senior Knesset source expressed dissatisfaction over the affair, while an Arab parliamentarian slammed the initiative and charged that it was introduced for political gains at the expense of the abductees' families.


The letter calls on parliament speakers around the world to use their influence in order to secure a sign of life from the kidnapped soldiers. The letter was initiated during a meeting between Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik and NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev with relatives of the abducted troops.


The effort is meant to exert international pressure that would lead to international groups' representatives visiting the soldiers. As noted above, all Knesset faction heads agreed to sign the letter with the exception of the three Arab parties.


A senior Knesset source slammed the Arab parliamentarians for refusing to sign a letter meant to offer humanitarian assistance to the abductees' families.


'We're talking about a mere show'


"After all, they always carry the banner of humanitarian help," the source said, referring to the Arab parties.


However, MK Jamal Zahalka urged Knesset officials to only approach the Lebanese parliament speaker.


"There's no need to turn to all parliament heads in the world. We don't sign such documents because the document won't make a difference. This affair will only be resolved through negotiations and not through any document."


Zahalka added that he refused to sign because the initiative is mostly political.


"We're talking about a mere show and an attempt to make political gains at the expense of the families," he said. "We won't play this game."


פרסום ראשון: 08.16.06, 14:11
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