Arab Knesset member celebrates terrorist’s prison release

“Congratulations to the hero Anis, and we are waiting for thousands of heroes of our people who are still behind bars,” said a senior Balad official.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Member of Knesset Sami Abu Shahadeh attended an event last week in the city of Shfaram celebrating the release of convicted terrorist Anis Saffouri, journalist Ishay Fridman revealed in a series of posts on social media.

Saffouri was convicted in 2009 of multiple charges in connection with a plot to murder Israeli scientists, air force pilots, and soldiers.

MK Shahadeh, a member of the Balad faction of the Joint Arab List, attended the celebration with Balad Secretary General Mustafa Taha and former Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka.

Photographs of the event were proudly displayed on the Balad party Facebook page along with video of Taha and Zahalka delivering speeches to the crowd.

The Balad delegation presented Saffouri with an honorary plaque.

“Congratulations to the hero Anis, and we are waiting for thousands of heroes of our people who are still behind bars,” said Taha.

The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu submitted a complaint against MK Shahadeh to the Knesset Ethics Committee, pointing out that his actions violated the Knesset code of ethics and Israeli anti-terrorism laws.

The complaint requested that the committee convene an urgent inquiry with MK Shahadeh and “take appropriate measures against him according to the committee’s powers, to the point of removal from the Knesset plenum.”

Im Tirtzu and the National Union party both filed complaints with the police demanding the opening of an investigation into the incident.

Senior Balad officials also attended an event last month celebrating the release of convicted terrorist Zahir Ali in the village of Kaukab Abu al-Hija.

A photograph on the Balad Facebook page showed the secretary general embracing Ali while presenting him with a plaque.

In June, Balad members praised participants of the 1929 massacres against Jews as “heroes and martyrs.”

In March, MK Shahadeh delivered a video message to the mothers of terrorist prisoners. “I want to tell you that we really appreciate you and the heroic efforts and roles that you are performing,” he said.

The Central Elections Committee banned Balad in 2003 and 2009 because of the party’s support for terrorism, but the Supreme Court quickly overturned both bans.