An Israeli member of parliament has verbally harassed Palestinian families hailing from the Gaza Strip on their journey to visit their imprisoned relatives in an Israeli prison, calling their sons "dogs" and "terrorists". Oren Hazan, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, boarded a bus carrying the families of prisoners on Monday about to enter Nafha prison in Israel's south. Flanked by Israeli police and camera crews, Hazan, a rightwing politician, shouted at one of the mothers: "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." To another mother, he said in a video posted on his Facebook page: "I am not going anywhere. I am a Knesset [parliament] member." When she tried to respond, Hazan repeatedly hushed her and told her to "be quiet". "I will make sure that you are not allowed to visit here any more. 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". The mother then told him to speak more politely, to which he said: "She educated her son to murder and hate. For the likes of her, I have no manners."
Prior to the incident, Hazan, who lives in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank, posted a picture of himself on his Twitter account carrying the Israeli flag as he waited for the bus which he said was carrying the families of "animals".
Under international humanitarian law, prisoners from occupied territories must be held in the occupied territory, not in the territory of the occupying power. Though most Palestinian political prisoners hail from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, they are placed in prisons inside Israel, in direct contravention of international law. Families of Palestinian prisoners must therefore apply for hard-to-obtain permits to enter Israel and visit them, usually in buses organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC said they were "very concerned about this serious incident".