Islamic Movement march in Umm al-Fahm
Islamic Movement march in Umm al-FahmMuammar Awad/Flash 90

The national Israeli lottery has decided to temporarily stop all money transfers to the Umm al-Fahm municipality, Shai Glick, the CEO of the "Bzalmo" organization told Ynet Monday.

The decision was made following the use of a community sports hall - funded by the Education Ministry and renovated with funding from the National Lottery - for an event in support of Sheikh Raed Salah, the anti-Israel leader of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement and a resident of Umm al-Fahm.

A letter sent from the office of the lottery chairman to Glick stated, among other things: "This is a community sports hall which was built in the 1990s by the Education Ministry and transferred to the Umm al-Fahm municipality. A few years ago, the hall was renovated through an allocation of NIS 400,000 from the Israeli lottery association."

"The national lottery had no prior knowledge of this event or its content," the letter continued. "We view the existence of a political event in the lottery building with utmost severity, as it is in clear contradiction to the lottery's agreement with the local authorities."

Glick also said that "the national lottery is asking the mayor to clarify the matter. The authority will clearly clarify the manner in which it handled the event's approval, and how it intends to prevent similar events in the future. Until the investigation is completed, all the money transfers to Umm al-Fahm are suspended."

Umm al-Fahm has come under scrutiny for extremism and support for terrorism. The three terrorists who carried out the murderous terror attack at the Temple Mount in June in which two Druze police officers were killed came from Umm al-Fahm. Thousands attended the funerals of the terrorists in Umm al-Fahm, after news of the murders had been greeted with celebrations and cries of joy at their success in killing Israeli security personnel.

Last month, the Shin Bet and the police foiled a second planned attack at the Temple Mount by residents of Umm al-Fahm.