The Islamic Movement is likely to be declared illegal, after ministers met again Sunday night to discuss the latest round of terror attacks, and Israel's reaction to them. Among the decisions made in the meeting, reports said, was to move towards making membership in Israel's Islamic Movement illegal.
A separate report said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had consulted with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on the matter. Weinstein, the report said, will not attempt to prevent the passage of legislation to declare the group illegal.
Over the past few days, more and more Israeli officials have pegged the group as a major source of the unrest that has been plaguing Israel in the past several weeks.
In an interview on Army Radio Sunday, Deputy Commissioner Aharon Aksol, Head of Israel Police's Operations Unit, asserted that the recent spate of terror attacks in Israel are the result of a planned set of actions. "There is no doubt that these events are not spontaneous events just happening, in a moment, when people wake up and decide to disturb public order," Aksol contended. "The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is indeed a guiding hand on these issues and we know how to handle the movement. All the arrests, expulsions, restrictions on people entering the Temple. I assume the actions we are taking against this thing will ultimately generate benefits.”
Zahi Najidat, a spokesperson for the group, said he isn't concerned that the government of Israel might outlaw the group that is largely behind violent riots and attacks on police on the Temple Mount.
"This isn't the first time that the official echelon in Israel is sounding threats against the Islamic Movement, in the past similar threats were heard, to pursue the leaders of the Movement, to arrest them and to make it illegal," said Najidat in an interview with the Jordanian Quds Press.
"We weren't surprised by these threats, for we know that supporting the Al-Aqsa Mosque (on the Temple Mount - ed.) has a price we will pay, although it will not deter us from continuing our path in defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Najidat estimated that Israel may outlaw the activities of the extremist group and arrest its leaders, including its head, Sheikh Raed Salah.
"When we call to help Al-Aqsa we are fulfilling our religious obligation that is upon us, and we will remain firm in our position and won't neglect supporting Al-Aqsa as much as the occupation tries to narrow our activities together with our countrymen in the 1948 territories and Jerusalem," he added.