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Israel Bans Islamist Group Accused of Incitement

  • VOA News

A man carries a photo inside the offices of the The Islamic Movement northern branch in Israel after Israel outlawed the Movement today, in Umm al-Faham, northern Israel, Nov. 17, 2015.

A man carries a photo inside the offices of the The Islamic Movement northern branch in Israel after Israel outlawed the Movement today, in Umm al-Faham, northern Israel, Nov. 17, 2015.

Israel has outlawed an Islamist group it accuses of playing a key role in instigating violence related to a Jerusalem holy site that sparked weeks of Palestinian unrest.

The government announced Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security Cabinet approved the widely expected measure.

Security forces later closed 17 organizations affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Israel, seizing cash, documents and computers, according to police. The movement is based largely in northern Israel.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accused the movement of inciting terrorism in Israel.

The head of the movement, Raed Salah, called Israel's decision unjust and vowed his group will fight the measure.

Salah is set to start an 11-month jail term later this month in connection with incitement charges from a 2007 sermon where he allegedly called for a new uprising against Israel.

The Islamic Movement of Israel provides religious and educational services for Israeli Arabs. It has also been behind a campaign alleging Israel is trying to take over a holy Jerusalem site known to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The site has been at the heart of a wave of violence that has seen 14 Israelis killed in attacks by Palestinians over the past month and a half. At least 78 Palestinians, most of them assailants according to police, have been killed by security forces at scenes of assaults and in violent protests in the West Bank and Gaza.

Erdan said, "The Islamic Movement, Hamas, [Islamic State] and other terror organizations have a joined platform which brings about terror around the world as well as the wave of terror in Israel. It is high time for Israel to use all the tools at our disposal in the war against terror and the inciters who encourage this war. This is exactly what the Islamic Movement [is] doing."

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