Three months before the general elections, the Central Elections Committee fielded two requests on Tuesday to ban Israeli-Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) and Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) from running for Knesset seats in the upcoming vote.
Likud MK Ofir Akunis demanded that Zoabi be disqualified, citing the legal clause stipulating that "a list of candidates will not participate in elections for the Knesset, and an individual will not be a candidate for the Knesset, if the stated goals or actions of the list or individual support armed struggle by a foreign nation or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel."
Akunis sought Zoabi's removal on the grounds that she took part in the 2010 flotilla of aid ships that tried to breach Israel's blockade on Gaza. Zoabi was aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship on which Israeli commandos, met with resistance, killed nine Turkish activists during a violent clash.
"The State of Israel must act with all its strength and firmness against those who exploit its democracy with the goal of destroying it from within," Akunis wrote in his petition to the elections committee.
Zoabi has been a member of Knesset since 2009.
In the request to disqualify Tibi, lawyer Yossi Fuchs, one of the leaders of the Likud's nationalist camp, cited Tibi's praise of martyrdom in a speech given in Ramallah and his trips to enemy countries in 2010.
Tibi was first elected as an MK in 1999 and currently serves as the deputy speaker of the Knesset.