Israel bars Palestinian MP from polls
An Israeli electoral committee has barred a Palestinian member of the parliament from standing in the upcoming general elections.
The Israeli Central Elections Committee disqualified Hanin Zoabi from running in the March 17 general elections on Thursday.
The Israeli committee did not provide any explanations for the disqualification. However, Zuabi’s lawyer, Hassan Jabareen, said it was because she is considered by extremist Israelis to be “hostile” to the Tel Aviv regime.
Twenty seven members of the committee voted to disqualify Zoabi, who is an outspoken critic of Israel’s aggressive policies.
“I’m not surprised,” Zoabi said after the decision was announced.
Right-wing Israelis have slammed Zoabi for her campaign against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza last year and its blockade on the poverty-stricken Palestinian territory.
Members of the governing right-wing Likud party and the Yisrael Beitenu party have also accused her of supporting an “armed struggle against Israel.”
Zoabi has rejected all the accusations against her.
“Palestinians are invisible in Israel, such that just seeing me in the Knesset, the most Zionist of institutions, is too much for many. Yes, this is how bad our situation is in Israel,” she said.
She had also been disqualified by the same committee ahead of the elections in January 2013. However, Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the decision, allowing her to stand in the elections.