Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Vows to Outlaw Raed Salah's Islamic Movement in Israel

Prime Minister blames Friday's anti-Israel rally on terror-linked group, promises to crack down following calls to abduct IDF soldiers.
By Hezki Ezra, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/29/2014, 11:27 AM / Last Update: 6/29/2014, 11:50 AM

Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his weekly cabinet meeting by addressing anti-Israel incitement on Friday outside Umm-Al-Fahm, adding to a chorus of criticism regarding a rally calling for the abduction of Israeli soldiers. 

"Outrageous calls were heard supporting the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers," the Prime Minister began. "Most of Israel's Arab citizens do not support this, and I call on their leaders to stand boldly and firmly in condemning these statements."

Until then, he said, he would fight the incitement. 

"As Israeli citizens, we cannot accept and put up with such outrageous statements," Netanyahu warned. "The IDF protects all of us."

Netanyahu also warned that the incident is directly linked to activity from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, headed by Sheikh Raeh Salah. Salah was recently banned from traveling abroad in connection with anti-Israel incitement, and Netanyahu vowed to outlaw the group entirely. 

"In many cases, those behind these readings, behind these protests, are the northern branch of the Islamic Movement," the Prime Minister said. "[The movement] constantly preaches against Israel, and has publicly identified with terrorist organizations like Hamas. Therefore, I have instructed the competent officials to explore the possibility of declaring the northern branch of the Islamic movement as blacklisted."

"This announcement will provide significant tools for the security authorities to battle the movement," he added. 

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) agreed. 

"It is a most necessary action, following a weekend demonstration in Umm al-Fahm, [to outlaw the group], as I requested years ago," Katz said, explaining that the group's activities are known throughout the Middle East. 

The Israeli government in late May began discussions on whether to declare Salah's Islamic Movement in Israel an illegal organization. Salah has been jailed for incitement in the past after calling followers to physically block Jews from entering the Temple Mount, and has been sentenced in the past for incitement and assault, among other nationalistically-motivated crimes.

The Islamic Movement has also been involved in the violent "Nakba Day" protests opposing Israel's existence.