"The committee will convene to complete the process of dismissing Ghattas," chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) announced after 71 Knesset members signed the request to begin dismissal procedures against the Arab MK.
Among signatories on the petition—initiated by Minister of Environmental Proection Ze'ev Elkin—were Knesset members from both the governing coalition and the opposition. Elkin submitted the petition to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
The law stipulates that the chairman of the House Committee must declare his intention to convene proceedings 10 days prior to the date the committee actually meets. Following Kisch's declaration, the committee will meet on March 8.
"I call on my friends in the opposition to join this move, this is not about right or left, but rather about safeguarding Israeli security and the status of the Knesset," said Kisch.
Ghattas will only be dismissed if the entire committee votes in favor of it. Then, final approval will require the support of at least 90 members of Knesset.
The Knesst's Ethics Committee in January barred Ghattas from participation in parliamentary activities for six months. He cannot participate in discussions, give speeches or introduce legislation. He may only vote. This is the maximum allowable punishment that the Ethics Committee can mete out.
In response, Ghattas said, "The decision of the Ethics Committee is a vengeful political decision that has never been applied to any other Knesset member following criminal proceedings that will be soon be over. The investigation will soon be over and a decision on indictment will soon be made. The committee members gave their verdict and sentence before any suspicions against me were proven."