Jerussalem, 18 Safar 1434/01 January 2013 (MINA) – Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that a Palestinian-Israeli lawmaker as well as activist of Mavi Marmara Haneen Zoabi could stand in elections.
The nine-justice court ruled unanimously Haneen Zoabi “shall be a candidate for the Knesset” in a 22th January 2012 poll without giving details of its reasons, according to Maan report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Wednesday.
Zoabi drew widespread criticism in Israel for taking part in an international aid flotilla on 2010 that challenged the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
She was on the Mavi Marmara when Israeli naval commandos raided the Turkish vessel in May 2010, killing nine Turks in clashes with activists on the board.
The Central Elections Committee voted on 19th December 2012 to disqualify Zoabi, saying she had shown “support for an enemy state or terrorist organization engaged in armed conflict against Israel”.
Zoabi has said she had no role in any of the violence on board the Mavi Marmara and had tried to mediate between the sides during the raid.
Zoabi told Israeli Army Radio the judges had “avoided giving in to the racist right”.
The Central Elections committee, which authorizes parties’ candidates ahead of votes, is chaired by a Supreme Court justice and made up of legislators from a number of political factions.
Zoabi belongs to the tiny Balad party that believes Israel should not be defined as a Jewish state, but instead be a democracy for all its citizens.
Most of the Palestinians who make up about 20 percent of the Israeli population are related to or descended from those who fled or were driven away in a 1948 war over Israel’s establishment.
They are full-fledged citizens, although rights groups say that Palestinians living in Israel face discrimination in employment, education and public funding.(T/R-010/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)