TEL AVIV – Arab Knesset member Haneen Zoabi (Joint List) said that Israel is “looking for an excuse to kill the Palestinians” and called on Palestinians to “march on Jerusalem” in support of the violent Gaza protests. She made her comments at a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“We need to go on popular marches to remind the world of the siege,” Zoabi said on Friday, referring to Israel’s blockade of Gaza. “We need millions of Palestinians to march on Jerusalem. That is the aspiration. But we can’t do it, because the Israelis would kill them.”
“Israel is only looking for an excuse to kill the Palestinians,” she told reporters.
Zoabi described the violent, Hamas-planned riots of recent weeks, in which explosive devices have been planted along the security fence, Molotov cocktails thrown at IDF troops, tires burned in the tens of thousands and multiple attempts made by rioters to breach the border fence, as a “march of peace” and a “peaceful act of popular struggle.”
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar on Friday made a similar call for Palestinians to march on Jerusalem on Friday in preparation “for our great move, when we breach the borders and pray at Al-Aqsa.”
In response to Zoabi’s remarks, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said she was seeking to “exploit her status to spread lies from the UN stage and support a terror organization calling for the annihilation of the State of Israel and using children as human shields.”
MK Oren Hazan (Likud) on Sunday filed a complaint against Zoabi’s incendiary remarks with the Knesset Ethics Committee.
Hamas has offered monetary rewards to the families of people who were injured or killed while breaching the fence. Reports of the terror group sending children as young as seven toward the fence emerged when the riots broke out two weeks ago.
Even the Palestinian Authority has accused Hamas of cynically playing with Gazans’ lives for their own agenda. PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ senior adviser, Mahmoud al-Habbash, on Friday accused Hamas of sending Gazans to their death for the sole purpose of garnering headlines featuring “emotional stories of heroism.”
Hamas was “selling illusions,” he continued, “trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims” so that it could make strong declarations on TV.
On Sunday, Abbas said he will no longer be responsible for what happens in Gaza if Hamas continues to refuse to give up control of the coastal enclave.