The security cabinet on Sunday discussed possible legal measures to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel for incitement to violence.
In a four-hour meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the relevant judicial officials to begin assembling evidence that would make the organization illegal.
A senior official in Jerusalem said following Sunday night’s meeting that the ministers would continue their debate on the issue in the coming days.
Earlier on Sunday, Shin Bet officials told the cabinet and security chiefs that the current wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories is being fueled by the Islamic Movement in Israel and Hamas, not by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
In his statement during the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu also named Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel as sources of recent incitement. Last week, Netanyahu charged that the terrorist attacks targeting Israelis “are all the result of wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, several countries in the region and — no less, and frequently much more — the Islamic Movement in Israel” over the Temple Mount.
Last week, the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, said his organization intends to respond to what he called “continued Israeli escalation” on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“We have a package of plans ready to be unleashed immediately,” Salah said. “May the streets of Jerusalem be purified with the blood of the innocent, who shed it in order to separate from their souls the soldiers of the Israel occupation, also in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said during that sermon.
Salah was sentenced earlier this year to 11 months in prison for incitement to violence and racism. The prosecution charged him in connection with a sermon he delivered in 2007 in Jerusalem, Army Radio reported. He has served previous terms for terror-related offenses.
Also Sunday, the government approved measures recently proposed by Netanyahu that would introduce mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of throwing rocks and firebombs, and easing the rules governing police use of live fire in rock throwing incidents in Jerusalem.
Included in the new measures are proposals made by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Social Welfare Minister Haim Katz.
Levin last month suggested those convicted of rock throwing would be banned from driving or have their driver’s licenses revoked. “Anyone who harms another person’s freedom should be denied the right to the freedom of movement,” Levin said of his initiative, according to a report on Channel 2.
The proposals put forth by Shaked and Katz would see convicted rock throwers serve a minimum four-year prison sentence; parents of minors convicted of the offenses would see the cancellation of welfare benefits.
“Whoever does not prevent children from throwing stones and Molotov cocktails should also bear some responsibility,” Katz said.
The government Sunday also approved Netanyahu’s massive call-up of 13 Border Police companies in an effort to quell the ongoing wave of unrest and violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories, which has seen a week of almost-daily terror attacks against Israelis.
The total number of police reservists mobilized could reach 1,300-2,000, and they are likely to be deployed in and around Jerusalem.