Ayman Odeh expelled from Knesset for condemning Israel invasion of Jenin

Middle East Monitor  /  July 14, 2023

The Hadash-Ta’al list’s Chairman, Ayman Odeh, was forced out of the Knesset plenary last week during a vote on the Counterterrorism Law after condemning the Israeli attack on the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin.

He said: “People killed in Jenin. People wounded in Tel Aviv. A killed soldier. All of their blood is because of your damned occupation. Occupation blinds you. Power blinds you. You are not only acting like occupiers, you are acting like idiots.”

His speech came just days after Israel concluded its largest military operation in Jenin in more than 20 years. At least 12 Palestinians were killed, including four children, and more than 140 were injured in the offensive, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The raid also left a massive trail of destruction across the West Bank city, with dozens of homes, vehicles, shops and utility lines destroyed.

“Every action has a reaction. These are the rules of nature,” added Odeh. “There’s a reaction to the occupation, so there will be resistance. Resisting against occupation is legal. Occupation is illegal. Long live the Jenin! Long live the Palestinian people! Long live their resistance! Shame on you! Take me down!  But the Palestinian people will continue to fight!”

In response, Almog Cohen from the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, shouted: “The blood of those murdered is on your hands; go to Gaza. The more terrorists we kill, the better.”

It all came amidst the approval of the Counterterrorism Law, which specifies that anybody who expresses support for “terrorists” may face up to five years in prison.

Religious Zionist Party MK Zvi Sukkot introduced the bill “to stop the probability test that is required today due to the seriousness of expressing solidarity or sympathy for an act of terror or its perpetrators.”

Following MK Odeh’s criticism against the Israeli invasion of Jenin, Sukkot appealed to the Ethics Committee of the Knesset, Israel Police, and the Attorney General to open an investigation against the MK for expressing his support for the residents of Jenin.