Erdan and Odeh accuse each other of incitement and deceit
In a heated verbal exchange of allegations and recriminations in the Knesset over the controversial incident in Umm al-Hiran, minister of internal security and the leader of the Joint List engage in verbal boxing match, delivering a combination of vitriolic remarks against one another, both accusing the other of deliberate incitement and deceit.
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh set the tone of the discussion as he turned to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, shouting "at minimum we deserve that you, the Minister of Internal Security, resign."
Erdan lashed back, accusing Odeh of "lying to the media saying that he was an innocent man who got caught up in the incident."
Odeh was among those injured during the riots that ensued.
Erdan then then turned to address Odeh directly, claiming "You came to incite the whole population, for blood to be spilled."
Ayman's then made a proposal to establish a parliamentary committee that would investigate the police's and officials' conduct, which was rejected. Taleb Abu Arar (Joint List) was removed during the deliberations for unbecoming behavior.
The heated talks came just hours after the Knesset approved the preliminary reading of two versions of the controversial bill to limit decibel levels for religious institutions, known as the Muezzin Bill.
"If anyone thinks that the Arab population will be satisfied by stuttered, half-hearted apologies he is gravely mistaken. After the mountain of deceit and incitement has crumbled all that’s left are two families who world was destroyed. The minimum they deserve is the truth, and that is also the obligation of every person sitting here today," said Odeh, who returned Erdan’s claim back at him, claiming he "lied and incited."
Odeh demanded that an independent investigation be launched in order to answer fundamental questions surrounding the incident.
"We demand to know who decided to violently evacuate the village while negotiations were still taking place, who decided to do it at night, who shot and killed Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, who gave the order to let him bleed to death without medical aid, who decided to incite against him and the residents of Umm al-Hiran?"
Erdan then took the podium, firing back in a second round of the vitriolic exchange.
"Here we meet again to discuss a subject which was already discussed and voted on about two or three weeks ago,” he began.
“In my naivety I thought that whoever is putting up a show as if he aims to bring two populations closer or calm things down will understand that the debate has been exhausted and will allow an external objective body, which is the Ministry of Justice, to examine what happened during that difficult and sad day.
"But it turns out that when you don’t have any real accomplishments with which to present your public, then your main objective will always be to generate gains, incite hearts, slander and try to create strife between populations that live in coexistence in Israel," Erdan continued.
"It's not by chance that you won't find any MK from the Joint List who will recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish people. No one is asking them to come to the podium and denounce Basel Ghattas and Hanin Zoabi."
Addressing the incident in Umm al-Hiran, Erdan maintained that "the driver didn’t listen to the officers (drove towards them). When you ask why the police arrive armed at a scene like this, I say to you; look at the videos. Wild incitement that these so called innocent members of the Knesset took part in, not missing any opportunity to radicalize and provoke the local residents into physical violence."