Haneen Zoabi

Haneen Zoabi (حنين زعبي) was born in 1969, in the city of Nazareth. She first joined the Knesset in 2009, as a member of Balad, becoming the first female Arab Member of the Knesset. She retired from politics ahead of the April 2019 elections.

During this time, she was an outspoken — and controversial — Knesset member in defence of Palestinian rights and equality. In May 2010, she participated in the Gaza flotilla that sought to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. She was present on the MV Marvi Marmara when it was raided by Israeli naval commandos and briefly arrested.

Zoabi has been involved in numerous lobbies and committees, including the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality and the Lobby for the Advancement of Education in the Arab Sector. Between 2003 and 2008, Zoabi was the director general of ‘lam: Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research‘.

In October 2023, Haneen Zoabi was arrested by Israeli authorities over her opposition to the war in Gaza.

Photo via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.