JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his attorney general to open a criminal investigation against an Arab-Israeli Knesset member who called for a “real intifada” against Israel.
The statement by Hanin Zoabi of the Arab Joint List was printed in al-Risala, the official newspaper of Hamas, on Oct. 8.
Netanyahu said Sunday during the weekly Cabinet meeting that his government would use all means at its disposal to prevent incitement from within.
“This wild and deceitful incitement is a clear call to violence,” he said. “This is serious and I will not ignore it.”
Zoabi said in al-Risala: “Hundreds of thousands of worshipers should go up to Al-Aqsa in order to face down an Israeli plot for the blood of East Jerusalem residents. Today there are actions only by individuals and what is needed is popular support. If only individual attacks continue without popular support, they will sputter out within a few days. Therefore the outpouring of thousands of our people will make these events a real intifada.”
Zoabi, who participated in the 2010 flotilla sail to Gaza to break Israel’s blockade organized by the Islamic IHH group in Turkey, has been censured in the past for anti-Israel statements. She was suspended from the Knesset for statements she made in the summer of 2014 encouraging Palestinian “popular resistance” and saying that the kidnappers of three Israeli teens, who later were murdered, were not terrorists.
She was banned by Israel’s Central Elections Committee from running in 2013 and 2015 elections in decisions that were overturned by Israel’s Supreme Court.
Also Sunday, Netanyahu said that he would convene a meeting to advance government action against the Islamic Movement in Israel.