Islamic Movement protest (file)
Islamic Movement protest (file) Muammar Awad/Flash 90

Israeli Police forced the closure of a conference of the Islamic Movement that was taking place in a hotel in eastern Jerusalem. As protesters outside of the hotel attempted to stop police from carrying out their mission, police employed crowd dispersing tactics and ammunition including a stun grenade.

One protester, Abu Bahar Alshemi, was arrested. Protests started early Thursday morning as the crowd began to gather and disturbed the peace.  

Former Arab MK Mohammad Barakeh who was one of the organizers of the conference, said that this was not a conference of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic movement, but rather a press conference. According to Barakeh, the press conference was discussing the issues of how to handle Arab NGO’s that were made illegal due to having a link to the outlawed movement.

Barakeh told Yediot news agency that the version the police reported of the events “is full of lies. We called a press conference to show how absurd it is that these humanitarian oriented NGO’s are being outlawed. The police came and refused to allow journalists to enter, and in order to keep them at bay, they threw a shock grenade at them.”

Since the outlawing of the Northern branch of the Islamic movement, and all NGO’s associated with it, the police as well as the Israel Security Agency, have the legal power to arrest any supporter of the organization.

The Northern branch of the Islamic Movement was banned in November last year for its part in fueling the recent wave of Arab terror attacks against Jews in Israel.

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