The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has expressed concern over the political censure and death threats against a Palestinian Israeli MP on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
The Geneva-based organization on Wednesday asked the Israeli parliament (Knesset) speaker Reuven Rivlin for clarification on the recent recommendation to revoke Hanin Zuabi’s privileges for sailing on the attacked aid convoy, Ha’aretz reported.
The Zuabi was one of the aid volunteers on board the aid Flotilla which came under a deadly Israeli attack in international waters on May 31.
The Knesset’s House Committee earlier voted in favor of stripping the Palestinian lawmaker of her parliamentary privileges, including her immunity from prosecution and her diplomatic passport. Interior Minister Eli Yishai, leader of Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Shas party, also demanded that Zuabi’s Israeli citizenship be revoked.
Echoing accusations by a number of radical MPs, head of the Knesset House Committee Yariv Levin said that Zuabi had betrayed Israel and "crossed the line" by trying to break Israeli siege of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. "Whoever sails to Hamas is a supporter of terror," Levin said prior to the committee’s vote.
Zuabi’s leftist Balad party condemned the decision as "racist and anti-democratic," and criticized the MPs "who incite against Zuabi" for calling on the public to harm her and endangering her life.
Earlier this month, Zubai was harassed by Israeli MPs when she was about to deliver a speech at the Knesset. She was poked, pushed and jostled by other lawmakers who went as far as making an attempt to hurt her at the podium.
The IPU, which aims to protect the rights of parliament members, is to hold a meeting in the coming weeks to discuss Zubai’s case.