Joint List’s Jamal Zahalka scorns PM’s ban on visits by MKs at the flashpoint site; MK Zoabi rejects ‘fascist demand’.

Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka attempted to visit the Temple Mount on Thursday afternoon, defying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ban on MKs visiting the flashpoint site in Jerusalem. Police stopped Zahalka from entering.

“Netanyahu is not the king and not the law,” said Zahalka. “His decision is meaningless to me. I am coming here in order to protect the mosque and demonstrate against the crazies trying to start fires.”

When asked if his own actions were not also inflammatory, Zahalka responded: “There is a big difference between me and right-wing MKs and ministers that come here to do harm.

Zahakla in Jersualem (Photo: Ofer Meir)
Zahakla in Jersualem (Photo: Ofer Meir)


“I am coming to pay respect to the place,” Zahalka continued. “They are entering as occupiers, I am coming because it is my right. I am wanted here.”

Zahalka argued with police and talked to Israeli and international media at the entrance to the site. “I call on the prime minister to stop these provocative visits,” he added. “Netanyahu wants calm? Only when the occupation ends.”

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement held a press conference on Thursday morning, addressing the intention to outlaw the party amid claims that it is behind the incitement in Jerusalem.

Several MKs took part in the conference, including Ahmed Tibi, Osama Saadi and Haneen Zoabi. Sheikh Raed Saleh, the branch’s leader, said: “We will sacrifice our lives for al-Aqsa. If anyone needs to be outlawed it’s the Israeli occupier.

“There is no force in the world that can ban us. This attack on the Islamic Movement is part of the assault on the Palestinian people.”

Zoabi: We will not obey a fascist order

Earlier on Thursday, MK Haneen Zoabi of the Joint List responded to Netanyahu’s decision to bar MKs from the Temple Mount. “We will not obey a fascist demand,” Zoabi said, “and we will fight against it as we fight against every element of Netanyahu’s fascist policy.

“We are witnessing an insane policy of pursuing, arresting and murdering Palestinians,” Zoabi continued. “We will not accept a single instruction from Netanyahu regarding al-Aqsa. We belong there, just as Netanyahu and the Defense Minister belong in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.”

Joint List head Ayman Odeh said: “Netanyahu is going round and round. He has no stand and no spine. The al-Aqsa compound is occupied territory that, as per the status quo, is administered by the King of Jordan and the Muslim Waqf.

“Netanyahu has no legal or moral grounds for preventing Arab MKs from going to the mosque.”

MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List also addressed Netanyahu’s decision. “Neither Netanyahu nor the Right can deny us the right to enter our al-Aqsa mosque. It is a crazy and unlawful decision.

“Tomorrow we will all be at al-Aqsa, because it is our mosque. This decision just pours oil on the fire.”

As reported by Ynetnews