Palestinian committee looks to prosecute Netanyahu for incitement

Palestinian committee looks to prosecute Netanyahu for incitement
A Palestinian committee announced it was looking to bring the Israeli Prime Minister to court over his recent rhetoric following the outbreak of fires across Israel.
2 min read
04 December, 2016
The commission has accused the Israeli Prime Minister of inciting racial hatred [AFP]

A Palestinian representative body announced on Saturday it is examining ways to prosecute Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu for racial incitement.

The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, one of the top representative organisations in Palestine, accuses Netanyahu of hate speech against Palestinian citizens of Israel after a series of fires broke out across the country.

Mohammed Barakeh, the chairman of the committee, condemned the Prime Minister’s statements, in addition to the role played by some of his ministers and the Israeli media.

“[Netanyahu’s] language is a gateway to the escalation of incitement against the Arab people,” said Barakeh, an ex-member of the Knesset.

No further details were given on exactly how the committee would bring about a case against Netanyahu.

The committee also issued a statement criticising the government for its “racist” law on religious broadcasts, which many Palestinians regard as a ban on the Muslim call to prayer.

The committee also mentioned preparations for the World Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

During last month's wildfires, a top Israeli rabbi issued a ruling permitting the shooting of Palestinians suspected of starting a fire, even if it leads practising Jews to violate the Shabbat - a holy day intended for resting.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu posted the ruling on Facebook after a follower asked him what to do if he sees a Palestinian approaching a forest.

The controversial Rabbi urged followers not to rely on "miracles", calling for immediate action to shoot any Palestinians approaching a forest. 

"Surely it is permitted and commanded to desecrate Shabbat in order to stop the fire and the arsonists, and if need be – shoot them as well," Eliyahu said.

"If anyone had shot the arsonists in Beit Meir or in Haifa, we would've been spared this disaster. It's a miracle that people weren't burned alive, but we must not rely solely on miracles," he said, in reference to allegations the fires raging across Israel were started by Palestinians.

The statement came after Netanyahu insinuated that Palestinians had been deliberately starting the fires that swept across many parts of the country.