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Netanyahu to take legal action against Palestinian-Israeli MPs

Zoabi is among three Knesset MPs who might be taken to court [AFP]

Date of publication: 7 February, 2016

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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to take three Balad Party MPs to court for meeting with family members of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will make a formal complaint to the Israeli parliament on Sunday against three lawmakers from a Palestinian-dominated left-wing party.

Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi and Basil Ghattas are three Balad MPs who met with the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces.

Netanyahu and many Israelis consider the deceased to be "terrorists".

"I have asked the speaker of the Knesset [parliament] and the attorney general to examine what steps can be taken against them," Netanyahu said in a statement on Thursday.

Israel is refusing to hand over the bodies of Palestinians to their families after months of campaigning.

Tel Aviv accuses the dead of being involved in "terrorist" activities including stabbing security forces or members of the public.

The Palestinian lawmakers joined a meeting with a Palestinian committee to pressure the authorities to hand over the bodies of the victims, the Balad party said.

"The non-delivery of the bodies is an act of revenge" against the families of attackers, the left-wing party added in the statement.

The Knesset is expected to meet to discuss the matter further. It comes after Yuli Edelstein, Knesset speaker, called for Israelis to lodge complaints against the lawmakers.

Palestinians consider the withholding of the bodies to be a form of collective punishment to the families of the dead.

Violence in the West Bank has seen 164 Palestinians and 26 Israelis killed since October.

On Sunday, a Sudanese man was shot dead after reportedly stabbing an Israeli soldier.

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