Police Disperse Jerusalem Meeting of Outlawed Islamic Movement Branch
JNS.org – Israeli police on Thursday forcefully dispersed a gathering in Jerusalem of members of the recently outlawed Islamic Movement in Israel’s Northern Branch.
Police learned that the banned group planned to hold a meeting at the Commodore Hotel in eastern Jerusalem, and informed organizers that the meeting would not be allowed to take place. Subsequently, dozens of Northern Branch activists gathered outside the hotel to protest the cancellation of the meeting.
According to police, the protest quickly turned into a riot. After rioters refused to leave the scene, police used crowd-dispersal means, including stun grenades. One senior Northern Branch official was arrested.
Israel outlawed the Northern Branch in November over activities including the “mendacious campaign of incitement under the heading ‘Al-Aqsa is in danger’ that falsely accuses Israel of intending to harm the Al-Aqsa mosque and violate the status quo.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri signed an order prohibiting Sheikh Raed Salah, the Northern Branch’s leader, from leaving Israel. The travel ban also applies to Salah’s deputy, Kamal Khatib, as well as several other Northern Branch activists. Deri’s move stemmed from concerns that overseas travel by the banned individuals could harm national security.