Islamist Sheikh Leads Anti-Israel Protest, Sparks Outcry
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called upon the government Saturday night to outlaw the Islamic Movement in Israel, after the group's leader lead a pro-Palestinian protest in the Galilee over the weekend.
Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, led a noon demonstration in Tamra Saturday, which drew 10,000 Israeli Arabs protesting the IDF's self-defense operation in Gaza. Operation Protective Edge began 26 days ago.
The demonstrators held Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; the terror group behind the Palestinian Authority) flags and pictures of atrocities that they allege are being perpetrated in Gaza. Children were carrying dolls with pictures of children who had been killed.
"[Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh is in a bunker, and [Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt leader Mohammed] Morsi is in jail, and only Salah is still running free in the Galilee campaigning for Hamas against Israel," Katz declared.
"As I have proposed on several previous occasions, we must outlaw the Islamic Movement."
In June, Interior Minister Gid'on Sa'ar banned Salah from leaving Israel after information became known to security officials that Salah was planning to foment anti-Israel incitement abroad. That ban was extended in July to December 2014.
Salah has a long history of violence and incitement. He was also jailed for five months in 2010 for spitting at an Israeli police officer; last year, he labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva. Recently, he was given a suspended eight month sentence in March for incitement regarding the Temple Mount.
The Islamic Movement, which is actually banned in several Muslim states, has also been involved in the violent "Nakba Day" protests opposing Israel's existence.
The noose has tightened on both Salah and the movement itself as of late, with the Israeli government beginning discussions in May on whether to declare the Islamic Movement in Israel's northern branch an illegal organization and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowing in June to blacklist the group.