The northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel made more threats against Israel on Monday, defying a promise from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to blacklist the group and ignoring several major Israeli political statements.
"You should know that Netanyahu is leading you into a religious war," Shiekh Kamal Khatib, deputy head of the movement, stated to Walla! News. "Israeli Jews, your numbers consist of eight million, but you will stand in this war against 13 million Palestinians - not just against hundreds of millions of Arabs, but all 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide."
Khatib also insisted that Israel is attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, which Muslims claim is a holy site for them and which has been the holiest site in Judaism for thousands of years.
"We have always said that Israel was digging under the Al Aqsa Mosque and it has become clear to everyone that we were right," he said.
"Israel always hid and denied that excavations under the mosque, and now everyone sees it," Khatib said. "Israel claims that there are synagogues, museums and more. We were right all along. Israel violates the Al-Aqsa Mosque through these excavations."
Minutes before, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin stressed in a speech to the Knesset that Israel "is not at war with Islam" and that rumors about Israel changing the status quo - which is heavily biased toward Muslim worship but heavily restricts Jewish worship - are "lies."
The Islamic Movement is actually banned in several Muslim states - in part, due to links to the Muslim Brotherhood - and has been repeatedly involved in several incitement-laced activities, including violent "Nakba Day" protests, calls for an intifada or terror war, and rioting on the Temple Mount.