As the delicate security situation continued to cause unease throughout Israel, a remark by a Knesset assistant has set off a firestorm. An aide to MK Masud Ganaim of Ra'am-Ta'al was suspended this week and had his entry permit to the Knesset revoked, following a complaint filed against him.
The complaint by a guard claimed that the aide said that after a Saturday soccer game between Beitar Jerusalem and the Arab team of Bnei Sakhnin, "we'll slaughter 50 Jews."
The guard claimed that he wasn't friendly with the aide, and so it couldn't have been a joking remark. The Knesset began an investigation and on Tuesday a complaint was filed to the police.
Knesset sources said that this was an extremely unusual incident, and so the Knesset used all available means to look into the complaint. The content of the examination was kept secret, partly to avoid inflaming tempers ahead of the Saturday game.
The Knesset guard told Speaker Yuli Edelstein about the incident. Edelstein made it clear that he endorsed the guard's decisions.
MK Ganaim said that the incident had been misunderstood. "It was all in jest and between friends. I don't know about the complaint. The matter is being dealt with." The suspended aide refused to comment.
The dispute further exacerbated the strained atmosphere in the days before the soccer game, which was already expected to be especially tense. The Sakhnin team's management decided Wednesday that the match would take place at Doha Stadium in Sakhnin.
The police demanded eight buses for fans of the Jerusalem team. But no transportation company has agreed to the mission, because of fears that Jerusalem fans would damage the vehicles.
Sakhnin officials said that they would try to prevent people from bringing signs or flags that were not related to supporting the teams – including Israeli and Palestinian flags.