Middle East

Israeli police question Arab lawmakers on money laundering

  • FILE -- In this June 1, 2010 file photo, Israeli Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi speaks to the press in Nazareth, northern Israel. Israeli police said Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 that they are investigating two Arab lawmakers on suspicion of money laundering and fraud. The police say Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka of the Balad party are suspected in crimes related to the smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Israel from Jordan. Balad is a Palestinian nationalist party whose members frequently clash with the Israeli government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

    FILE -- In this June 1, 2010 file photo, Israeli Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi speaks to the press in Nazareth, northern Israel. Israeli police said Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 that they are investigating two Arab lawmakers on suspicion of money laundering and fraud. The police say Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka of the Balad party are suspected in crimes related to the smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Israel from Jordan. Balad is a Palestinian nationalist party whose members frequently clash with the Israeli government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this Feb. 8, 2016, file photo, Jamal Zahalka an Israeli-Arab lawmaker from the Joint Arab List, yells during a session in the plenum in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem. Israeli police said Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 that they are investigating two Arab lawmakers on suspicion of money laundering and fraud. The police say Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party are suspected in crimes related to the smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Israel from Jordan. Balad is a Palestinian nationalist party whose members frequently clash with the Israeli government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

    FILE -- In this Feb. 8, 2016, file photo, Jamal Zahalka an Israeli-Arab lawmaker from the Joint Arab List, yells during a session in the plenum in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem. Israeli police said Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 that they are investigating two Arab lawmakers on suspicion of money laundering and fraud. The police say Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party are suspected in crimes related to the smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Israel from Jordan. Balad is a Palestinian nationalist party whose members frequently clash with the Israeli government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)  (The Associated Press)

Israeli police say they are investigating two Arab lawmakers on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka of the Balad party are suspected in crimes related to the smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Israel from Jordan. Samri says the money was used in election campaigns in 2013. She did not provide details on the source of the funding.

Balad is a Palestinian nationalist party whose members frequently clash with the Israeli government. Samri says police have detained and questioned dozens of members and raided the party's offices.

A spokeswoman for Zoabi said Monday that "this is a political investigation."

Arabs make up one fifth of Israel's population and serve in Israel's parliament, but often suffer discrimination.