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Jerusalem court indicts 2 Israelis who threatened Palestinian MK's life

March 31, 2016 4:19 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2016 4:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli magistrate court of Jerusalem on Thursday indicted two Israelis who issued death threats against Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmad Tibi.

The indictment list issued on Thursday said that the two threatened Tibi, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, via Facebook posts in 2012 that read "you better run before you are killed" and "your end is near."

The lawyer of one of the Israelis said his client would prove in court that her statement did not constitute a criminal offense and that she had the right to express her opinion.

Ahmad Mhanna, a lawyer and Tibi’s parliamentary assistant, said "the mentioned threats, in addition to dozens of threats by extremists Jews against MK Tibi whether by mail or social media, reflect hostility and hatred against Arabs and Tibi, who is defending his people everywhere."

"We take these threats seriously, but that does not scare Dr. Tibi and he does not change his principles," he added.

Israeli public opinion has veered sharply to the right in recent years, with Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli leftists increasingly finding themselves the targets of hostility.

MKs Hanin Zoabi, Basel Ghattas, and Jamal Zahalqa -- who, like Tibi, are members of the Arab Joint List -- were suspended from their duties in February after they visited the families of Palestinians who were killed after attacking Israelis.

On Monday, the Knesset passed the first reading of a bill that would allow MKs to expel lawmakers, in what has been roundly condemned as a political campaign launched against the parliament's Palestinian members.

The bill -- an amendment to an existing law -- could see an MK suspended for "negating" the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incitement to racism, or supporting an armed struggle against Israel, according to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel.
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