Arab MKs: Israel committing crimes
Hundreds of Arab demonstrators protesting siege on Gaza clash with right-wing activists at Erez crossing. MK Tibi says MK Eitam is 'a vile murderer of civilians'. Eitam responds, 'Ahmad Tibi is a traitor.' MK Zahalka calls on Palestinian President Abbas to cease negotiations with Israel
During the demonstration, Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) told MK Effie Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party) that he was "a vile murderer of civilians."
Eitam responded, "Ahmad Tibi is a traitor, and along with (former MK) Azmi Bishara's friends standing across from us, he is trying to weaken the State of Israel.
Some 300 representative of the "committee for lifting the blockade on Gaza", including members of Balad and the Islamic Movement, arrived at the Erez crossing and declared that they would try and transfer food to the Palestinian residents.
MK Tibi at Erez crossing (Photo: Amir Cohen)
"The rightists, headed by Effie Eitam, are war mongers. They want the conflict to continue and seek to perpetuate the current situation," said MK Tibi. "I can't remember such sanctions on a civilian population.
"Such things must not take place in the 21st century, and I call on both sides to declare an immediate ceasefire, halt the fire and remove civilians on both sides from the ring of fire."
'Don't talk with forces of the dark'Balad chairman, MK Jamal Zahalka, called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to cease negotiations with Israel.
"As long as Israel continues committing crimes in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority chairman cannot continue negotiating with the forces of the dark," he told Ynet.
Representatives of the right-wing parties stood across from the Arab protestors and called on Tibi to stay in Gaza.
MK Eitam said, "It's enough to see Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi and Azmi Bishara's friends standing here with the flags of Palestine and weakening the State of Israel, which is doing all it can to fight Palestinian terror.
"One can see that Ahmad Tibi is a traitor, and all those demonstrating here are betraying the State of Israel. We arrived here in order to fight for the State of Israel's sanity and for the lives of Sderot's residents."
MK Eitam (L) at Erez crossing (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, also took part in the demonstration.
"I want to convey a message to the entire Arab world to support the Strip's residents rather than treat them like terrorists," he said. "There are children and elderly people who must receive humanitarian aid."
MK Zahalka said, "The State of Israel has turned Gaza into a prison, but even prisoners' light is not turned off in jail."
According to Zahalka, the situation in Gaza is intolerable. "The State of Israel has taken the dignity away from 1,400,000 people. The Gazan people are working people, and Israel has turned them into a people of beggars in need of humanitarian aid."
The MK added, "Abbas cannot sit at the negotiation table with (Foreign Minister) Tzipi Livni while Israel strikes in Gaza. If the situation continues, Abbas will have no choice but to halt the negotiations, and I call on it to case them immediately. The interests of the Palestinian people must be maintained.
"Abbas must act like a national leader, take two steps towards Hamas, and they must take two steps towards him. The Palestinian people are the ones paying the price."
Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to this report