Israel’s high court rejects bid to indict Israeli-Arab lawmaker

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a request to indict Arab-Israeli lawmaker Hanin Zoabi for her participation in a flotilla aiming to break the naval blockade of Gaza.

The high court announced its decision on Monday. The lawsuit was filed by former Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir and the Eretz Yisrael Shelanu movement after Israel’s attorney general declined to indict Zoabi for her involvement in the flotilla.

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The court agreed with the attorney general’s decision that getting a conviction against Zoabi would be very difficult.

Zoabi participated in the May 2010 flotilla on the Mavi Marmara, the ship on which nine Turkish passengers were killed after Israeli commandos storming the ship were attacked. She was punished by the Knesset Ethics Committee for her actions. She also has been accused of incitement against Israel and its military.

Zoabi, a lawmaker for the Israeli-Arab Balad Party, in July 2011 was stripped of her parliamentary benefits by the ethics committee, and was stripped of her diplomatic passport and lost her right to visit countries with no ties to Israel

The Supreme Court had previously overturned a ruling by the Central Election Commission to prevent Zoabi from running in the last election.