The Security Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has decided to declare the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel as an illegal organization. Following the decision and pursuant to his authority, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has signed the defense regulations.
The declaration means that any entity or person belonging to this organization henceforth, as well as any person who gives it service, or who acts on its behalf, will be committing a criminal offense and is subject to imprisonment. It will also be possible to seize all property belonging to the organization.
For years, the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has led a mendacious campaign of incitement 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. In this context, the northern branch has established a network of paid activists (Mourabitoun / Mourabitat) 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.
Outlawing the organization is a vital step in maintaining public security and preventing harm to human life.
The northern branch, headed by Sheikh Raad 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 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.
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. 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.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "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. 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."
Statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement on the outlawing of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel:
"Democracy must defend itself. It must defend itself against those who strive to subvert it. The northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel is undermining the state. It incites violence against innocent people. It has close ties with the Hamas terrorist organization and it seeks to subvert the state in order to establish an Islamic caliphate in its place.
As the one who is responsible for the security of the state, I will not allow this. And therefore, the Security Cabinet, under my leadership, decided to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement.
We have nothing against Islam. We have nothing against the Muslim citizens of Israel, who enjoy full equal rights, and the great majority of whom are law-abiding. But we will continue to act against those who incite and who encourage terrorism, wherever they are. Our goal is to prevent incitement which contributes to terrorist attacks against innocent people; our goal is to defend the State of Israel. This is the obligation of any responsible leadership and it is my obligation."