Israel has outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which is responsible for anti-Israel incitement and, in part, for the recent wave of terrorism in Israel.
Israel’s Security Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday night declared the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel an illegal organization, joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and Hamas terror organizations, which have a similar status.
Following the decision and pursuant to his authority, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed the defense regulations and made the decision formal.
The declaration means that any entity or person belonging to the organization, as well as any person who provides it service or who acts on its behalf, will be committing a criminal offense and will be subject to imprisonment. It also means the state can seize all property belonging to the organization.
Explaining its decision, the government pointed out that for years, the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has led “a mendacious campaign of incitement against Israel under the heading ‘Al Aqsa is in danger’ that falsely accuses Israel of intending to harm the Al Aqsa Mosque and violate the status-quo.”
For instance, the Islamic Movement holds an annual conference, attended by tens of thousands of Muslims, during which it perpetuates the lie that Israel is secretly plotting to overtake the Temple Mount and destroy its mosques.
In this venue, the northern branch has established a network of paid activists known as the Mourabitoun and Mourabitat who initiate anti-Jewish provocations on the Temple Mount. They were outlawed by the Ministry of Defense in September.
“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 government stated. “Outlawing the organization is a vital step in maintaining public security and preventing harm to human life.”
The northern branch, headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, is a sister movement of the Hamas terrorist organization. The two movements maintain a close and secretive cooperation. The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is a separatist-racist organization that does not recognize the State of Israel, denies its right to exist and calls for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in its place, just as ISIS does.
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.
An Israeli court sentenced Saleh, a radical Islamic cleric, to 11 months in prison in late October for incitement to violence and racism against Jews.
“The Security Cabinet decision is directed against elements that drive and support incitement and racist activity, undermine regional stability and cause harm to innocent life,” the Cabinet stressed in its statement, but “this move is not directed against the Arab and Muslim public in Israel, the great majority of which upholds the laws of the state and disavows incitement and terrorism.”
The Goal – Stop dangerous Incitement and Prevent Harm to Innocent Life
“The Security Cabinet decision was made following a series of in-depth discussions with all relevant legal and security elements. The goal is to stop the dangerous incitement at home and prevent harm to innocent life,” stated Netanyahu after the Cabinet meeting. “My government will continue to act as necessary against incitement and terrorism; at the same time, we will continue to invest resources for the betterment of Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens alike.”
Shortly after the Cabinet announced its decision, police and Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) forces raided the offices of 17 organizations linked with the Islamic Movement across Israel and posted closure notices on their doors, and 13 of them were searched.
Security personnel seized documents, computes, funds and other materials. Likewise, several of these organizations’ bank accounts were frozen.
Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan stated that Israel must serve as an example and a spearhead force in the war on Islamic extremism, “whose emissaries we witnessed butchering innocents in Paris, New York, Madrid and in Israel.”
“The Islamic Movement, Hamas, ISIS and the rest of the [Islamic] organizations all share the same ideological platform which generates terror attacks around the world and a wave of terror in Israel. It is time that we use all the tools at the state’s disposal in the war on terrorism and against the inciters who generate it.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel