Israel considers banning Islamic Movement


30 June, 2014 Middle East Monitor

Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of Islamic movement in Israel.
Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of Islamic movement in Israel. © MEMO/AP images

The northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel said that it does not fear the Israeli threats and intimidation attempts, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the relevant authorities in his government to consider the possibility of declaring the movement an “illegal organisation”.

The movement added, in a statement it issued yesterday: “We do not fear the threats and intimidation after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced, at the beginning of the Israeli government’s session, that he instructed the authorities in his government to consider the possibility of declaring the movement an ‘illegal organisation’.”

The Islamic movement, led by Sheikh Raed Salah, said: “Netanyahu appeared, on Sunday, calling, during the session of the Israeli government, for the banning of the Islamic movement and declaring it an illegal movement for the second time in a month, in addition to the statements made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that aim at the same goal.”

The statement added that “Netanyahu, with his blind insistence on outlawing the movement and banning it, does not need any reason at all, in the first place, to incite against the Islamic movement and call for outlawing and banning it.”

Netanyahu said, in the beginning of the weekly session of the Israeli government yesterday that he had “instructed the competent authorities in his government to consider the possibility of declaring the northern wing of the Islamic movement [in Israel] an illegal organisation.”

He continued: “The weekend has witnessed a demonstration in Umm Al-Fahm, in the north of Israel, where slogans were chanted and calls for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers were heard. The majority of Israel’s Arab citizens do not support this position and invite their leaders to stand up bravely and resolutely to condemn these statements.”

The Israeli security agencies are prosecuting the northern wing of the Islamic Movement, and probed into its activities and funding. The group’s leader Sheikh Raed Salah was sentenced to prison several times.

The northern wing of the Islamic Movement is different from its southern counterpart, which is led by a member of the Knesset Ibrahim Sarsur, as the latter participates in Israeli elections and takes part in the voting process, while Salah’s wing refrains from participating.

The movement’s northern wing, according to observers, is the most widespread and most influential in the Arab street inside the Green Line, within Israel [This is why it is considering banning the movement.- ed].

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