In the early morning hours of Sunday September 18, the Israeli police began an arbitrary arrest campaign targeting Palestinian activists from the National Democratic Assembly (NDA). The arrests targeted the Head of the political party, Mr Awad Abdelfattah, among other dozens of leaders and members, part of them members of the local authority councils. The arrests came months after investigations with hundreds of the NDA’s supporters and members for alleged accusations in relation to the political party’s funds used for its activities.
In a press release issued to the media today, the NDA denied all the alleged accusations against its activists and insisted that these arbitrary arrests are part of the systematic political campaign of incitement and persecution of the party, including its leaders and youth movement.
The NDA confirmed that these arrests are part of continuous attempts to criminalize the Palestinian political activism in Israel in the recent years, especially the NDA party, including arbitrary arrests of youth activists and the recent ban of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement.
In previous years, the NDA faced numerous attempts to disqualify the NDA as a political party, its current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Member (MK) Haneen Zoabi and its former leader and Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, who, was forced into exile in 2007.
More recently the Knesset adopted the so-called Expulsion Law, which allows the Parliament to expel elected politicians for alleged misbehaviour. The legislation was initiated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, after NDA MKs Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Bassel Ghattas’s visit to families of Palestinian victims killed by Israeli forces, whose bodies were held by the Israeli authorities and refused to return them to their families. Notably, Israel has passed several laws curtailing the right to freedom of opinion and expression, such as the Nakba Law, which defunds institutions or organizations that commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (the 1948 catastrophe that left thousands of Palestinians refugees); the Boycott Law, which subjects boycott’s advocates to prosecution before Israeli courts; and the recently adopted law limiting foreign funding for NGOs; and many other similar initiatives. The NDA stressed that these recent attacks, and the escalation of fascism in the previous year will not stop them from challenging the zionist hegemony and continuing the struggle against the Israeli authorities and their repressive policies and practices against Palestinians.
For more info please cpntact: Sami Al Ali: 00 972 524070547 Khalod Al Titi: 00 972 50426970