Leaders from the Islamic Movement in Israel have rejected the Israeli government decision to outlaw the social and civic group.
The Israeli government’s decision on Tuesday came a day after a travel ban was issued on its leaders, who are accused of incitement and encouraging violence against Israeli policies in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied West Bank.
Police throughout Israel searched and confiscated computers and files from the group’s offices.
Seventeen of the group’s social and civic services offices that cater to the Muslim community throughout Israel were shut down by police.
Israeli police in Haifa is currently questioning three of the group’s leaders, including its head, Sheikh Raed Salah, his deputy Kamal al-Khatib, and Suleiman Ahmad who handles the group’s Jerusalem affairs.
In making the group illegal, the Israeli government invoked a 1945 British-mandate emergency law, which predates the establishment of the state of Israel, to outlaw groups and organisations deemed a “threat” to the state.
Salah issued a statement published online, rejecting the decision and calling it “unjust”.
He also said that the Islamic Movement “will remain steadfast through its message and commitment to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
He also said he “will do all [he] can to remove the injustice against the group within the framework of the law and other legitimate means”.
Omar Khamyseh, a lawyer in Israel, told Al Jazeera that in the wake of this decision, the group has two options to deal with it: one is to appeal to the Israeli minister of defence, who issued the decision, to revoke it; while the second option is to file an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against the government’s decision.
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