Israel’s attorney general recommends indicting former Arab-Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi for fraud, corruption

The Attorney General said that Hanin Zoabi should be charged with fraud together with the entire Balad party to which she belongs. 

By World Israel News Staff

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit decided that an indictment should be filed against former Knesset member Hanin Zoabi and the Balad party for fraud. He released his ruling on Thursday.

The indictment is dependent on a hearing that will determine whether Zoabi and the Balad party committed fraud by misreporting the sources of funding for two of their election campaigns, in 2013 and 2015.

Zoabi and others are suspected of having received donations from secret foreign sources and disguised that fact on official documents, Israel’s Channel 13 reports.

Ha’aretz reports that Zoabi is suspected of using a fake document, falsifying corporate documents,  and money laundering.

There are 35 other suspects in the case, including at least three senior Balad party officials, the paper reports.

If the state goes forward with the attorney general’s recommendation, it will be the first time an entire political party has been indicted, Kan radio reports.

Balad responded that the case is being brought against them only to give the appearance of balance as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces indictment on corruption charges in several cases. Balad claims they are being made to pay the price, Channel 13 reports.

Balad recently united with the Joint List, an alliance of Arab parties, which is competing in this September’s elections.

Balad has taken anti-Israel positions and there have been several failed attempts to ban it from running for Knesset. Its founder, Azmi Bishara, was indicted for supporting terrorist organizations.

Zoabi is perhaps best known for participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010, which attempted to break through Israel’s sea blockade on the Gaza Strip. Though billed as as peaceful protest, when Israeli commandos bordered the flotilla they were set upon in a violent, premeditated attack. Zoabi defended her participation in the flotilla.

Zoabi has also compared Israel to Nazi Germany.  The U.S. State Department just this week revised its definition of anti-Semitism to include such comparisons as contemporary anti-Semitism.

Zoabi announced she was retiring from the Knesset in December, 2018 due to internal party regulations.