Israel closes offices of Islamic Movement’s northern branch

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Palestine
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Israeli regime has closed the offices of a branch of the Islamic Movement, accusing it of being behind the recent wave of tensions in the occupied Palestinian lands.

“The practical significance of this decision is that any entity or individual belonging to the group from here on out, and any individual who grants this organization services or operates under its auspices will have violated a criminal statute and is subject to imprisonment,” a statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Tuesday read.

Islamic Movement is affiliated to the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The announcement gives Israeli military forces permission to confiscate all the properties that belongs to the organization.

The new measure came shortly after Israel’s Interior Ministry placed travel bans on three senior officials in the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. The individuals were the group’s leader Sheikh Raed Salah, deputy leader Kamal Khatib and head of the movement’s public relations office Yousef Awawdeh.

Last month, Salah was sentenced to 11 months in prison for what Israel termed incitement of violence. The ruling, however, is being appealed in Israel’s Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Salah denounced Israel’s latest measure against his group, vowing that the Islamic Movement’s northern branch will endeavor to honor its commitments of supporting the Palestinian cause. He said he would do his best to overturn the recent measure against his party.

Ahmad Tibi, a leader of the Arab Movement for Change (Ta’al) and Knesset member, also slammed the latest Israeli move as politically-motivated, saying the “extremist” regime in Tel Aviv is to blame for the ongoing tensions in the occupied lands.

Fresh clashes in West Bank

Also on Tuesday morning, scuffles broke between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the illegal Beit El settlement in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians were protesting against the restrictions being imposed by Israeli officials, preventing them from travelling to the city of Ramallah. Israeli forces used tear gas and fired shots to break up the protest. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories have dramatically escalated since the Israeli regime’s imposition of restrictions in August on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

At least 88 Palestinians have been killed in the recent escalation of violence since the start of October.

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