Israel outlaws ‘Iran-backed’ Palestinian group
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Israel outlaws ‘Iran-backed’ Palestinian group

Defense Ministry says ‘The Youth Group’ is aided by Hezbollah, plans to attack Israel and bring down PA

Illustrative photo of Palestinians seen in Manara square at the center of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, February 14, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Illustrative photo of Palestinians seen in Manara square at the center of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, February 14, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Israel announced Monday it had outlawed a Palestinian group it said acted as a front for Iran-directed terror activities targeting Israelis and the regime of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman signed the order outlawing Al-Hirak Al-Shababi (“The Youth Movement”) at the recommendation of the Shin Bet internal security agency, a ministry statement read.

The decision followed “significant information indicating that the group is directed by Hezbollah and Iran to carry out attacks against Israelis, and ignite a wave of violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” it read.

While the group claimed to be a collective of youths seeking to change the situation in the West Bank through civil activity, it was in fact “a terror group headed by two opponents of the Palestinian Authority,” the statement read.

The Defense Ministry named them as Munir Asli, living in Lebanon, and Hilmi Balbisi, living in Jordan. It said they are “directed and funded by Hezbollah and Iran,” which have both transferred “hundreds of thousands of shekels” over the past two years to fund the group’s activities.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman before the weekly cabinet meeting at PM Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on June 13, 2016. (Marc Israel Sellem)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman before the weekly cabinet meeting at PM Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem on June 13, 2016. (Marc Israel Sellem)

Members of Al-Hirak Al-Shababi were engaged in firebombing and bombing attacks on Israeli targets in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as stirring unrest on the volatile Temple Mount compound in the city, the ministry said.

The group’s goals included “toppling the regime of [Abbas] and collapsing the Palestinian Authority.”

“Exposing the organization, the extent of its activity and true goals shows once again the efforts of Iran and Hezbollah to advance terror activity against Israel,” the ministry statement read.

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