Israeli Arabs have called a general strike against the decision of the Israeli government to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, accusing it of inciting violence.
An “anti-democratic and unjustified” measure, protested Palestinian leaders. Israeli Defense minister Moshe Yaalon signed the decree issued under state of emergency regulations, British Mandate-era legislation which Israel inherited in 1948 and has kept in place with annual renewal since.
The cleric Sheik Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement – accused of ties with Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood – has been active for months in the promotion of “defence committees” of the Al Aqsa mosque compound or Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Salah explained that the measure will not serve to annihilate his organization, which will “continue to exist and adhere to the principles on which it was founded”. The Islamist leader next week will begin serving an 11 months prison sentence for instigation of violence and racism for a speech made 8 years ago. His appeal was rejected by the Israeli supreme court last month.
Numerous Palestinian organizations condemned the decision, considered a “declaration of war” against the Arab component of the Israeli society. According to some observers, the Netanyahu government is taking advantage of the global outrage over the Paris attacks to crackdown on Palestinians.