Netanyahu Moves to Outlaw Islamist Movement in Israel: ‘We Cannot Accept Infuriating Calls to Abduct IDF Soldiers’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to ban a branch of the country’s Islamist movement, after incendiary remarks by Arab speakers at a violent demonstration on Friday.
“Over the weekend there was a demonstration in Umm Al-Fahm in which infuriating calls and support for abducting (Israel Defense Force) soldiers were heard,” Netanyahu said at the start of his government’s weekly Cabinet session in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Several hundred marchers scuffled with security forces during the incident, police said, which was held in protest over IDF efforts to find three youths Israel says were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists near Hebron 17 days ago.
While the PM tempered his recommendation, saying that “most Israeli Arabs do not take this view and I call on their leaders to be courageous and strongly condemn such calls,” he told the ministers that Israelis “cannot countenance such outrageous remarks that call for abducting Israeli soldiers. IDF soldiers protect all of us. We cannot accept infuriating calls to abduct IDF soldiers.”
Netanyahu said that “in many cases, those behind such calls and demonstrations are from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” and charged that the group “constantly preaches against the State of Israel and its people publicly identify with terrorist organizations such as Hamas.”
The PM said he instructed “relevant authorities to consider declaring the northern branch of the Islamic Movement an illegal organization. This would give the security authorities significant tools in the struggle against this movement.”