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Labor Minister: Break Islamic Movement-Hamas-PA Terror Axis

Israel faces a new triple terror axis of Hamas, Sheikh Salah and Abbas, says Ben-Eliezer. MK Ben-Ari: Outlaw Islamic Movement as a terror group
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/12/2009, 9:06 AM / Last Update: 10/12/2009, 9:26 AM

Israel news photo

Israel “will pay a heavy price" if it does not break the new axis between the Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement, whose northern branch is headed by Sheilkh Raad Salah, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned Monday morning.

He added that the new axis has forced Israel into an “emergency” situation.

National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari also took aim at the Islamic Movement, but the two legislators’ methods of dealing with the threat are totally different.

The Labor minister maintained that the government can stop the threat by taking measures to show massive “good will” to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah party. He argued on Voice of Israel government radio that moving ahead with negotiations with Abbas and offering further undefined concessions are  ”in the interests of Israel and not for the sake of the PA.”

Abbas said on Sunday that negotiations cannot begin unless it is understood that Israel will surrender “every inch” of the area that was restored to the Jewish State in the Six-Day War in 1967, including all of the Old City and the Jerusalem neighborhoods of French Hill and Ramot, among others.

In contrast, MK Ben-Ari said he is sponsoring a bill that would declare the Islamic Movement a terrorist organization, Sheikh Salah has been arrested several times for inciting violence against Israel by claiming that it is trying to cause Muslim mosques to collapse by digging tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. Abbas has made similar statements.

Such incitement would classify the Islamic Movement as a terrorist organization, according to his proposed law. A terrorist organization is currently defined as a group that calls for violence with the aim to kill or cause severe injuries.

Under his law, Sheikh Salah could face up to 20 years in jail for heading a terrorist group, and his followers would be subject to up to five years in prison. The police also would be empowered to close the group’s offices and prohibit its flags from being displayed in public.