" It is too bad that the Knesset speaker used a partial quote, she wrote. In any case, I admit that my political and parliamentary activity, like my declarations and opinions, represent political opinions and values that completely contradict those reflected in the complaints."
Jerusalem, July 29 - The ethics committee of the Israeli parliament has banned M.K. Haneen Zoabi, the first Arab-Israeli woman to be elected to the legislative body, from all parliamentary activity except voting for the next six months, media reports said Tuesday.

Zoabi's punishment will take effect from Wednesday. The Balad party leader will not be able to make speeches, submit parliamentary questions or initiate debates in committees or the plenary, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Also Tuesday, a Knesset Channel poll found 89 percent of Jewish Israelis think Zoabi's citizenship should be revoked, while only 10 percent opposed such a move.

In 2011, the controversial Arab Israeli leader was banned from the Knesset for two months after she physically attacked an usher who tried to remove her from the plenum for incessantly interrupting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In recent weeks, she attracted criticism for saying the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in June, who were later found murdered, is not terrorism. A criminal probe was launched against her but the incitement charges levelled against her were dropped later.

Zoabi said the ethics committee ignored the context of her comments about the three teens.

It is too bad that the Knesset speaker used a partial quote, she wrote. In any case, I admit that my political and parliamentary activity, like my declarations and opinions, represent political opinions and values that completely contradict those reflected in the complaints.

I represent a vision of justice, freedom, equality and an uncompromising battle against racism, oppression, discrimination, dispossession and disenfranchisementÂ…I will not give in to those who are trying to silence me, punish me and take revenge on me, Zoabi said.


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