Israeli media sources reported on Thursday that Dr Ahmad al Tibi, Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, and head of the Arab bloc (United Arab List, Ra'am-Ta'al) had challenged the ban order issued by the Israeli authorities barring Arab-Palestinian residents of Israel from visiting Lebanon.The sources added that al Tibi arrived in Beirut on Thursday accompanied by three journalists, after wrapping up a visit to Yemen during which he held a meeting with the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and discussed the latest developments regarding talks between the Fateh and Hamas movements.
During his visit to Yemen, Dr. Tibi met with senior government officials, including the Yemeni president Ali Abdulla Saleh. He was invited to lecture before students and scholars at a university in Yemen.
In 2005, the Israeli Police interrogated Dr. Tibi after he visited Lebanon which is considered by Israel ad an “enemy state”.
The office of Dr. Tibi released no official statement regarding the recent visit of Dr. Tibi to Lebanon.
Meanwhile, MK Arieh Eldad, from the National Union – National Religious Party in Israel, Dr. Tibi “ignored the law and visited an enemy state”.
Eldad also called on the Israeli Attorney-General, Menachem Mazuz, to prosecute Tibi, while MK David Rotem from the Yisrael Beiteinu party (Israeli Our Home) stated that Dr. Tibi “is stepping all over the Israeli laws”.
Member of Knesset, Zevulun Orlev, who is behind initiating a bill barring Arab MK’s from “visiting enemy states” said on Thursday that the visit of Dr. Tibi to Lebanon “indicates an urgent need to expedite the legislation” in order to prosecute any official who visits “an enemy state”.
The Knesset already approved the bill in the first reading this week, while Dr. Tibi challenged its legality.
Dr. Tibi said that he only stopped in Lebanon for one hour and added that the reports of his visit to Lebanon were widely exaggerated, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported.
He accused right wing parties in Israel of carrying “baseless assaults against Arab members of Knesset”, adding that “the right wing wants Arab MK’s outside the Knesset by fascist laws”.