A member of the Israeli parliament mounted a bus from the Gaza Strip and lashed out at a Palestinian woman heading to visit her son jailed in Israel, yelling that the prisoner was a “dog,” an “insect” and a “terrorist.”
“Your son is a dog. He is a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members,” the Israeli lawmaker, Oren Hazan, said in a video published on Facebook.
“I am a member of the Knesset [Israeli parliament],” he said, adding that “I will make sure that you are not allowed to visit here anymore” because “your friends in Gaza are holding our brothers.” Hazan then threatened the Palestinian woman by shouting “if you don’t pass on the message that we want our children back, you won’t see your son or your husband.”
The Israeli lawmaker, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, went as far as making apparent death threats to the woman, saying “we will show your son to the ground” and “if you keep on like this, you won’t see life anymore.”
Hazan had boarded a bus that was taking Palestinian families to the maximum security Nafha prison in the southern Israeli desert. The facility holds mostly Palestinians convicted of anti-Israeli offences. The bus was escorted by workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has condemned the lawmaker’s actions.
The Red Cross said Israel must guarantee the safety and dignity of Palestinians visiting their family members in prison.
“Families have the right to visit their loved ones in a dignified manner,” Suhair Zakkout, spokesperson for the ICRC, said in the statement. “It is the responsibility of the competent authorities to ensure that the visits take place safely and without interference.”
The Nafha prison itself violates international humanitarian law, as many of the Palestinian prisoners come from Israeli-occupied territories, where the law says they should also be held. The visiting families of the prisoners thus have to apply for permits to enter Israel, which are difficult to attain.
Hazan has already attracted controversy with his extreme stunts and statements. In July, he posted a video on Facebook threatening to “execute” the entire family of a Palestinian who allegedly killed three Israelis in the occupied West Bank, after Israel enforced tighter restrictions on the entry of Palestinians.