An Israeli member of parliament has been threatened by Hamas after hurling verbal attacks against families of Palestinian prisoners on December 25.
Oren Hazan, an MP of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, had shared Facebook Live videos of him boarding buses that carried Palestinian families traveling to see their imprisoned relatives.
In the video, Hazan—with media in tow—confronts the families in a bus near the Nafha prison in southern Israel, telling one woman, “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,” he says.
Hazan, who has campaigned for a ban on Palestinian family visits to Israeli prisons, continues: “I will make sure that you are not allowed to visit here anymore. We will do everything so that you won’t enter here. You are not wanted here. You educated your son to murder and we will show your son to the ground.”
‘As a lawmaker, you should speak more politely’
One of the mothers he addresses tells him to leave the bus and says, “As a lawmaker, you should speak more politely.”
But Hazan did not back down. “She educated her son to murder and hate. For the likes of her, I have no manners, Hazan tells the translator.
The MP then demanded that the families tell their “friends in Gaza” to release the bodies of slain Israeli citizens and soldiers. Hazan then threatened that if they don’t, “you won’t see your son or husband. And if you keep on like this, you won’t see life anymore.”
A day before the incident, activists organising the bus’ interception said the stunt was a protest to demand quid pro quo from Gaza. One organiser, Yoel Marshak, told Arutz Sheva, "We get on the bus and explain to them in Arabic the need for reciprocity. It is inconceivable that they can visit their sons and the families of our missing people do not know what their situation is."
"Naturally, they are angry at the delay and tell us they have no connection with Hamas, but we hope they will send the message to Hamas."
Shortly before boarding the bus on Monday, Hazan shared a photo to Twitter waving an Israeli flag and said he was waiting for the bus of the families, which he called “animals”.
The controversial Knesset politician, who broke rank to endorse Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election earlier this year, is from the Israeli settlement city of Ariel, which the international community has deemed illegal—though Israel insists the settlement is legitimate.
Security detail joins Hazan after Hamas threat
The Likud MP has received a security detail after the incident prompted Hamas, which is labelled a terror organisation by the EU, to issue its own threats against Hazan on December 26. “We say to Oren Hazan the pig – our honor hasn’t been trampled”, said Hamas in a statement, and warned that the MP “will pay for his wild and criminal attack.”