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Israeli parliament passes law that allows expulsion of critical MPs

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Israel’s parliament (Knesset) has passed a controversial bill that allows authorities to suspend legislators critical of the Tel Aviv regime’s policies toward Palestinians, with critics arguing that the law is meant to target opposition Arab lawmakers.

The law, which was supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was passed on Tuesday night following an intense debate with 62 votes in favor and 47 against. Several members were absent.

The legislation stipulates that the Knesset can kick out a parliamentarian for “incitement to racism and support of armed struggle” against the Israeli regime if a total of 90 members of the parliament vote in favor of the expulsion.

‘Apartheid legislation’

Following the suspension, the lawmaker would be replaced by another person on their party’s electoral list.

Arab Israeli legislators view the bill as directly targeted against them.

Yousef Taysir Jabareen of the Joint List political alliance said the measure effectively puts Arab parliamentarians “on probation.”

“This is apartheid legislation, which paves the way for a political transfer of the Arab public’s elected officials,” he said.

Another Joint List lawmaker, Dov Henin, said the law “directly targets the Arab public’s elected officials, chosen to voice their stances.”

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog also censured the legislation, terming it as a “dark mark on Israel’s face.”

“The hate-filled [Israeli] administration is busy widening the rift that threatens Israel more than any outside enemy,” he said.

Arab Israeli lawmaker Hanin Zoabi

Late last month, Netanyahu said he plans to work toward ousting Joint List legislator Hanin Zoabi because she described the Israeli commandos who killed ten activists on board a Gaza-bound Turkish humanitarian flotilla back in 2010 as “murderers.”

Zoabi has on numerous occasions criticized the Israeli regime’s policies.

Israeli commandos attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens on the spot and injuring about 50 other people. A tenth Turkish national later succumbed to the injuries sustained in the raid.

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