Knesset furor: Arab MK sparks fears about Netanyahu’s security in Knesset

Knesset incident with Arab MK Ayman Odeh raises concerns about Netanyahu’s safety in Israel’s parliament.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had an exciting 24 hours. In the latest incident, Arab MK Ayman Odeh shoved a cellphone in his face during a Knesset debate over the Security Cameras Law.

The Wednesday incident, in which Odeh approached extremely closely to Netanyahu and stuck the cellphone inches from his face to film him – a protest against the Security Cameras Law, which would legally require the placement of cameras at polling stations – has raised new concerns about whether the prime minister requires personal security even in the Knesset, Ynet reports.

Although Netanyahu took the incident in stride, patting Odeh on the back, the Prime Minister’s Office later requested a look into Netanyahu’s safety with his security detail. During the discussion, the possibility was raised of placing a personal guard beside the prime minister in the Knesset to prevent such provocations in the future, Ynet reports.

(Flash90/Yonatan Sindel)

Although the Cameras Law failed to pass through committee, the Likud party continues to push the legislation.

Netanyahu said during the debate, “How can you oppose photographing on a cell phone when we use it everywhere? All the public space today in Israel and the world is covered with cell phones. What is purity of elections? It’s transparency, and transparency is cameras and it’s to enable purity of the elections.”

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Arab Knesset members started shouting during Netanyahu’s speech with Odeh calling him a “liar.”

It was following Netanyahu’s speech that Odeh approached and shoved his cell phone close in a provocative manner, saying, “What’s the problem? I thought everything was a story.” Odeh was referring to an earlier comment by Netanyahu who referred to Instagram stories, a feature on the popular cell phone photo application which allows users to show their images in a slideshow format.

‘Several Likud MKs came to Netanyahu’s aid, including Mickey Zohar, Yoav Kish and Mai Golan. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein ejected Odeh from the hall following the incident, Ynet reports.

Ayman Odeh filming Israeli Prime Minister

(Flash90/Yonatan Sindel)

The incident follows one on Tuesday night in which the prime minister was obliged to leave a campaign event in the middle of his speech due to a rocket attack from Gaza toward the city of Ashdod where he was speaking.