Israeli election committee disqualifies contentious Arab candidate from March elections

Israel's elections committee has voted to disqualify a contentious Arab lawmaker from running in the country's March 17 parliamentary elections.

Lawmaker Hanin Zoabi is known for her feisty and abrasive style in parliament. She has sided with the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, prompting some Israelis to brand her a traitor.

Israeli media say Thursday's committee vote passed by a majority. The decision could still be overturned by the Supreme Court, which has happened in the past.

Zoabi called the decision "unjust" and "racist."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says Zoabi belongs with "the Hamas terrorists in Gaza."

She participated in a pro-Palestinian flotilla that tried to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza in 2010. Activists attacked Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship, and nine activists were killed.