Israel Outlaws Muslim Brotherhood Branch

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Israeli media is reporting that the Israeli government has effectively outlawed the so-called northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, essentially comprising the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel. According to the Ynetnews report:

Israel declared the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel an unlawful gathering on Tuesday, effectively outlawing the group led by Sheikh Raed Salah.

The decision, made by the Security Cabinet, means that any person or group that officially associates with the organization from now on will be subject to criminal penalties, including arrest. In addition, the organization’s property can be confiscated.

Following the decision, police searched more than a dozen of the group’s offices around the country, seizing computers, files and funds. Authorities also froze its bank accounts and said that 17 organizations affiliated with the party were served with orders to close down.

 Police also called in several of the movement’s members for questioning, including Salah, his deputy Sheikh Kamal Khatib, and the organization’s head of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque affairs, Dr. Salman Abu Ahmad.

Police and Shin Bet investigators, who gathered the evidence to back the decision at the government’s behest, will now have more leeway in acting against the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. The evidence gathered showed, among other things, the tight ideological connection and public relationship between the northern branch of the Islamic Movement to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Security officials made a distinction between the northern and southern branches of the Islamic Movement. While the northern branch is considered radical, the southern branch is considered moderate, and has not been sanctioned.

The movement’s connection to Hamas was a major factor in the Cabinet’s decision. The two collaborated in joint ventures through the northern branch’s institutional activities, and for years, the northern branch’s activities have been funded by organizations connected with Hamas.

Read the rest here.

Raed Salah is the leader of the so-called Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. He is noted for often alleging that Israel is conspiring to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque.) Earlier this month, we reported that an Israeli court has sentenced Raed Salah to 11 months jail for his role in inciting the current violence in Israel. Other recent GMBDW coverage has included:

  • At the end of August, we reported that Israel’s  Internal Security minister had asked the Minister of Defense to urgently ban two organizations operating on the Temple Mount and  funded by the Islamic Movement. According to another Israeli media report at the time, Raed Salah spoke out against the move saying that Arabs who attack police and Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount represent “the ‘honor’ of the Muslim nation and the Arab world”
  • We reported in January 2015 that the internal security service Shin Bet had shut down three Islamic charities for allegedly inciting violence against Jews and Israeli security forces. According an Israel Hayom report, the charities were created in October 2014 by the northern branch of the Islamic movement in Israel.
  • In June 2014, we reported on claims by the Shin Bet that a senior Hamas official arrested in April had admitted that Hamas is exploiting the Islamic Movement in Israel to promote its interests in Jerusalem. We had reported a few days earlier that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to outlaw the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement..

For profile on Raed Salah, go here.

For a profile of the Islamic Movement in Israel, go here.

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