The Security Cabinet has declared the radical Islamic Movement to be illegal, paving the way for overnight police raids in 13 cities on 17 offices connected to the radical Islamic group.
The decision was held under a veil of secrecy until police could raid Islamic Movement offices in cities that included Umm el-Fahm and Nazareth in the Galilee and Be’er Sheva and Rahat in the northern Negev. Police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) confiscated weapons, cash and computers. Bank accounts were frozen.
Raad Salah, the leader of the northern branch based in Umm el-Fahm, southeast of Haifa, called the Israeli action a “cynical exploitation” of the Islamic State (ISIS) massacres in Paris Friday night. He is scheduled to begin servng an 11-month prison sentence next week for incitement and violence.
Declaring the Islamic Movement illegal was just a matter of time because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said two weeks ago he would do so, but his statement Tuesday morning invites the question why Israel did not lock up the pro-terror group long ago.
The office of the Prime Minister stated this morning:
For years, the Islamic Movement’s northern branch has been waging a campaign of deceitful incitement under the banner of ‘al-Aksa is in danger,’ which blames Israel by falsely accusing it of intending to harm the al-Aksa mosque and to violate the status quo there.
Historians will ask why it took years to make illegal the Islamic Movment, which Netanyahu’s statement said is Hamas’ “sister, “and to place the anti-Zionist organization in the same category as Hamas that the United States, like Israel, has defined as an illegal terrorist organization.
The Prime Minister’s statement added that declaring the Islamic Movement illegal means that anyone who is a member or works on its behalf can be arrested and subject to a term in prison.
The statement added:
The northern branch has established a network of paid activists in order to initiate provocations on the Temple Mount. This activity has led to a significant increase in tension on the Temple Mount. A significant portion of recent terrorist attacks have been committed against the background of this incitement and propaganda.
The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is a separatist-racist organization that does not recognize the institutions of the State of Israel, denies its right to exist and calls for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in its place. The northern branch of the Islamic Movement belongs to radical Islam and is part of the global ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ movement. The two movements share an extremist ideology and a common goal – the destruction of the State of Israel.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu