Arrests Hit Israeli Muslim Group

Published May 16, 2003, issue of May 16, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

TEL AVIV — Israeli authorities are working to outlaw the Islamic Movement, a fast-growing organization with tens of thousands of followers in Israel’s Arab community, mainly in the Galilee.

The head of the Islamic Movement, Sheik Ra’ad Salah, was taken into police custody for questioning this week and court proceedings were under way for remanding another 14 officials from the movement’s northern branch. The suspects were allegedly involved in transferring foreign funds through Israel to Hamas knowing that the money would be used to help the Palestinian Islamic group’s terrorist activity. Among those arrested is the treasurer of the movement.

The two-year-long investigation, conducted by the Shin Bet security service, Northern District Police and National Fraud Squad, focused on overseas fundraising activities and money-laundering for Hamas, mediated by Salah’s organization. The monies — an estimated $12 million over the years — were sent to the Israeli offices as contributions to humanitarian projects, and then channeled to Hamas. According to statements made by police, the suspects knew at least some of the money would be used to support the Hamas terrorist infrastructure, including payments for the orphans of suicide bombers.

Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, appearing at the Knesset’s Interior Committee, said the arrests would likely lead to another round of arrests as police learn more from interrogations and from the documents they confiscated.

Islamic Movement spokesman Tawfik Mahmeed denied any connection to any political or religious movement in the territories.

Hamas said in a statement that the arrests were “a new escalation against Muslims and Arabs in occupied Palestine.”

Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.