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Israel police, Shin Bet close three Islamic charities for causing unrest on Temple Mount

reposted from The Jerusalem Post
01.12.2015 | 21 Tevet, 5775

by Ben Hartman

The main bone of contention appears to be the payment of activists, youths, and students, who arrive at the Temple Mount each day to harass visitors.

The Shin Bet and the Israel Police on Monday closed three NGOs they say were funneling money to activities meant to “inflame tensions on the Temple Mount”, according to a statement put out by the security service.

The three charities were named by the Shin Bet as “Ruad Al-Aqsa”, “The Al-Jaffar Fund for Art and literature”, and the Nazareth-based “Muslims for Al-Aqsa”. According to the Shin Bet statement, these groups were formed in October 2014 by the northern branch of the Islamic movement “with the purpose of funding activities meant to disrupt the security of visitors to the Temple Mount and in order to inflame tensions and cause disturbances, while harming the sovereignty of the state of Israel at the site [the Temple Mount].”

The closures follow a decision made by the Defense minister on December 29th, when he declared them banned organizations.

The main bone of contention appears to be the payment of activists, youths, and students, who arrive at the Temple Mount each day, often on buses organized by the Islamic Movement and the charities, and maintain a presence on the mount during the visiting hours for tourists.

The Shin Bet said these activists tend to use verbal and physical violence to harass visitors “while harming freedom of religion through threatening the personal safety of visitors to the site.”

They added that these NGOs were meant to overstep the closing of the NGO “Imarat Al-Aqsa” by Israel after it was declared an illegal organization in August 2014.

In May of last year, the Shin Bet announced the arrest of a senior Hamas operative; who they said told his interrogators that Hamas uses the Islamic Movement in Israel as a front to advance its activities and goals in Jerusalem.

He reportedly told them that Hamas pays youths a permanent salary of NIS 4,000-5,000 each month to stay on the Temple Mount and prevent Jews from visiting the site.



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