Joint List MK Taleb Abu Arar slammed the indictment of six Israeli-Arab activists involved with the maintenance of Islamic property and holy sites in Israel, calling the legal proceedings against the six a collective “lashing” of the Israeli-Arab community.
The six were arrested in April for alleged ties to the outlawed Islamic Movement’s northern branch, which was banned in 2015 over the group’s connections with the Hamas terror organization.
In a statement to the press, Abu Arar accused Israel of persecuting the six individuals charged, all of whom have been active in the renovations of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
According to a report carried by Falastin, one of the six now indicted is a former deputy mayor of the predominantly Arab city of Umm El-Fahm.
Five of the six are residents of Umm El-Fahm, while the sixth is from Jerusalem.
Abu Arar said the six were involved in important Islamic religious projects, and that their work should be protected under the freedom of worship.
But investigators from the Shin Bet internal security agency say the six were active in the banned northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which defense establishment officials say has worked to spread radical Islamism amongst Israel’s Arab population.