MK Sami Abou Shahadeh (Joint List’s Balad faction) participated last week in an event celebrating the release of convicted terrorist Anis Saffouri, who was sentenced in 2009 to 14 years in prison for conspiring to murder Israeli air force pilots, scientists and IDF soldiers.
Saffouri, a resident of the Israeli-Arab city of Shfaram, was convicted of aiding and abetting the enemy, unlawful affiliation with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, conspiracy to commit murder, and weapons charges.
Upon his release from prison Saffouri was welcomed by a mass reception of hundreds of Shfaram residents, including a special delegation from the Balad party headed by MK Sami Abou Shahadeh, Balad Secretary General Mustafa Taha, and former Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka.
Members of the Balad delegation spoke at the event and presented Saffouri with an honorary plaque. Balad uploaded pictures and videos from the event to their official Facebook page.
The Arab Desk of the pro-Israel watchdog group Im Tirtzu filed a police complaint and submitted a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee against MK Shahadeh.
According to Im Tirtzu, MK Shahadeh along with the other participants at the reception were in violation of section 24 of Israel’s 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law that criminalizes voicing praise and support for terrorism.
Im Tirtzu was informed on Monday by the Shfaram police investigations officer that a file against MK Shahadeh has been opened and that the incident is currently under investigation.
Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk, said: “The time has come to end the double standard in favor of Joint List MKs, who are given free rein by the High Court to promote terrorism and trample on the law.”
“These radical inciters belong in jail rather than in the Knesset,” continued Nisani, “and we are calling on the Knesset Ethics Committee and the police to bring down the full weight of the law on MK Shahadeh and his terror-supporting colleagues in the Joint List.”
Eytan Meir – Director of External Relations & Development
Im Tirtzu – Building the Zionist Dream
Im Tirtzu is a Zionist non-governmental organization based in Israel. Its name is derived from an epigraph appended to the frontispiece of Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, ‘if you wish it, it is no fairy-tale,’ rendered into modern Hebrew in Nahum Sokolow’s translation in 1903, as Im tirtzu ein zo agadah.