MK Avi Dichter (Likud) responded Monday evening to MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List faction, who last month accused Dichter of giving the orders to ”murder the leaders of the Palestinian people” during his term as head of the Shin Bet internal security service.
During a February 29 meeting of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on a bill that would allow 90 Knesset members — of the 120 in the House — to suspend colleagues for “unseemly behavior,” MK Odeh said ”There are people in this parliament who murdered Arabs with their own hands. There are people in this parliament who gave the orders to murder the leaders of the Palestinian people.”
Later, during an interview with Channel 2, Odeh said ”There are Shin Bet chiefs who gave the orders to murder the leaders of the Palestinian people… They sent the people to murder the leadership of the Palestinian people… Take Dichter, for instance. He sent the people who murdered [Yasser] Arafat and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, and he is in the Knesset.”
During Monday`s plenary sitting, Dichter addressed Odeh and said, ”How did your lips not tremble when you accused me and other members of Knesset of murdering arch terrorists like (Ahmed) Yassin and (Abdel Aziz al-) Rantisi?,” noting the founders of Hamas who Odeh said he had ”murdered.”
”After all, in the region where you live, in Haifa and the north, there were Hamas terror attacks in which Arabs (Christians and Muslims) were killed too alongside Jews and Druze.”
Dichter continued, ”what exactly did your tongue say after those awful attacks? Nothing! I had the privilege of being the head of the [Shin Bet] at the time and ordering the elimination of those who sent the murderers to the Matza restaurant and the Maxim restaurant – two restaurants owned by Arabs in which 37 Jews and Arabs were murdered and around 200 were wounded.”
”What did you do then and what are you doing today in order to prevent terror? Nothing! Allah is waiting for you up above,” said Dichter, first in Arabic and then in Hebrew. ”And when you arrive at the gates of hell, Sheikh Yassin and Rantisi of Hamas and (Islamic Jihad co-founder Fathi) Shaqaqi will welcome you, and hurry to appoint you head of their house committee, without a vote.”
Odeh was not present in the plenum when Dichter spoke.