Israel investigates Arab Knesset members’ visit to Syria

Monday, September 11, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Attorney General Meni Mazuz ordered criminal investigations into the visit to Syria by three Arab members of Parliament. The three visited Syria this weekend to show support for Bashar Assad regime. The head of the General Security Services said that their speeches will be examined for signs of criminal incitement.

The three Knesset Member Azmi Bishara (photo), Wasil Taha and Jamal Zahalka, all members of the Balad party traveled to Damascus this weekend and spoke in various forums in support of the Syria. According to Israeli law, any visit to a hostile country must be approved by the Interior Ministry. The three are suspected of breaking the “Infiltration Prevention Law,” which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

During their visit, the three said that they “support their struggle to reclaim their occupied lands.” Bishara warned the Syrians and said they should be careful because Israel is planning to attack Syria on several fronts in order to quiet the internal strife within Israel and to bolster the intimidation factor Israel lost during the war in Lebanon.

“We are friends of Syria and we will continue being close to them. We support the necessary efforts to return Syria’s lands,” the men said during their visit.

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