Photo: Niv Calderon
Azmi Bishara
Photo: Niv Calderon

Bishara's wife delayed at border crossing

Rana Bishara delayed for several hours at Jordan River border crossing while en route to Israel, questioned by Shin Bet investigators. MK Zahalka files outraged complaint accusing security agency of taking out frustrations on 'innocent woman'

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) filed a complaint against the Israeli Port Authority on Monday claiming the wife of former MK Azmi Bishara, Rana, was detained at the Jordan River Crossing for several long hours.


"If the Shin Bet is frustrated it has been unsuccessful in imprisoning Bishara, it has no right to exact revenge on his wife and children," said Zahalka.


Rana Bishara, who currently resides with her husband in Rabat Amon, was on her way to visit relatives in Israel. She and two of her children were let through the Jordanian side of the border but upon their arrival at the Israeli side, Bishara was informed she was being delayed as a person in contact with a recognized threat against national security.


"She called me from the crossing and said she was being held there," said Zahalka. "I contacted those in charge and they said the decision was handed down by defense officials. I tried to explain to them that her detention was illegal. She may be Azmi Bishara's wife, but she has not been accused of anything. She is an Israeli citizen and yet she was made to wait for hours."


According to Zahalka, at around 9 pm a Shin Bet official arrived at the crossing and asked to speak with Bishara. "He asked about Azmi's activities – what he does, who he's in contact with and where he works," he said.


"She was also asked about her travel plans to Israel and was even required to hand over a telephone number for her hosts," said the MK, adding that Bishara's luggage was subjected to intense inspection.

"Delaying a woman with two children is vindictive and provocative behavior," he said.


The Shin Bet service said in response that "the woman in question is the wife of Azmi Bishara, the former Knesset member under investigation on charges of compromising national security, and who fled Israel prior to the completion of the investigation against him."


The service declined to go into any further detail regarding its methods of operation.


פרסום ראשון: 05.05.08, 18:37
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