Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon told the High Court of Justice Wednesday that the Knesset's decision to revoke some of MK Hanin Zoabi's rights was under its jurisdiction, and was "proportional and reasonable."
The statement came in response to petitions filed with the court against the measure.
The Knesset decided in July to take away Zoabi's diplomatic passport, restrict her travel abroad and stop covering her legal fees. The measures came in response to the Knesset member's participation in the Gaza-bound flotilla in May of last year, and her trip to Libya.
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Zoabi (Balad) petitioned the High Court against the decision, in collaboration with Adalah, an Arab rights advocacy group, and the Association for Civil Rights. They claimed that the measure violates the law of immunity. MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), MK Ami Ayalon (Labor), Amram Mitzna and businessman Tal Zilberstein filed a similar petition as well.
The court then ordered the Knesset explain the decision.
'Zoabi intends to continue with actions'
Yinon said that Zoabi's actions were invalid not only because she took part in the flotilla even though it was meant to break a blockade imposed by Israel, but also because the maritime convoy was organized by the IHH – a Turkish organization recognized as a terror group by the Defense Ministry.
He explained that the rarely used measure to revoke a Knesset member's privileges was utilized in this case because "it was proven that MK Zoabi intends to continue with actions that most of the Knesset members believe surpasses the range of legitimate Knesset member activity.
"Using the authority in this case was done in line with the rules that the court outlined, in a balanced and proportional manner, while preserving Zoabi's legitimate range of political action," he added "(The Knesset) revoked privileges that do not have much practical implication, but their elimination can help prevent her from taking part in similar activities in the future."
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