Police Raid Islamic Offices in Galilee, Incitement Suspected
reprinted from Arutz 7
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(IsraelNN.com) Dozens of police and intelligence personnel swooped down on Al Aqsa offices of the Islamic Movement in the Lower Galilee city of Umm el Faham Saturday night and seized money, computers and documents that linked the organization with Hamas.
The money was intended for activities in Jerusalem, which were sponsored by the movement's leader, Sheikh Raad Salah. He has accused Israel of building a synagogue under the Temple Mount's Al Aqsa mosque.
Umm al Faham is a large Arab city located several miles east of Hadera, southeast of Haifa, and has increasingly become a hotbed of anti-Israeli incitement.
The Al Aqsa branch of the Movement is suspected of working with Hamas's charity coalition," which is a front for "extremist Muslims throughout the world," Israeli intelligence officials said. Authorities are investigating if Al Asqa is coordinating activities with the outlawed Hamas group Dawa, which helps finance terrorism. Islamic Movement leaders charged that the raid signaled the "bankruptcy" of Israeli institutions.
The Al Aqsa mosque on Friday staged a "festival of the endangered Aqsa" in which Sheikh Salah charged that Israel is desecrating the mosque.
Exactly one year ago, Jerusalem police broke up a meeting of 30 Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders in Jerusalem and threw stun grenades after the participants refused to leave.
Police Shut Down Islamic Movement Institution
reprinted from Ynet
by Sharon Roffe-Ofir
Dozens of police, Shin Bet officers raid movement's al-Aqsa offices in Umm al-Fahm in accordance with order issued by defense minister, following information received on ties between institution, Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem. Documents, safe and money confiscated; some of movement's bank accounts frozen
Large police and Shin Bet forces raided the Islamic Movement's al-Aqsa institution offices in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm on Saturday night and shut down the place.
The operation was carried out in accordance with an "unlawful organization" order issued by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, following information that the institution had ties with the Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem.
Simultaneously, some of the movement's bank accounts were frozen.
A spokesman for the Islamic Movement's northern branch said in response that "the Israeli institution is using the stick method instead of talking and convincing."
Dozens of police officers, headed by Northern District Commander Shimon Koren and Amakim District Commander Deputy Inspector General Zohar Dvir, arrived at the al-Aqsa institution offices belonging to the Islamic Movement's northern branch in Umm al-Fahm following an order issued by the defense minister.
After searching the place, the forces confiscated numerous documents, a safe and money.
The news on the police activity in Umm al-Fahm quickly reached many of the city's residents, including movement activists, who gathered in the area.
The material collected in the raid was turned over to the Shin Bet, where it will be sorted and examined. The police will then decide whether to launch an investigation against the movement.
A Shin Bet official said in response that according to information received by the defense establishment, the al-Aqsa institute holds joint activities with the Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem.
"One of the organizations financing this activity is the 'Charity Coalition', which serves as the umbrella organization of extreme Islamic funds worldwide operated by the Hamas movement, and thus the institution was declared an unlawful organization in 2002," the official said.
'Israeli establishment going bankrupt'
According to the suspicions, the "Charity Coalition" funneled large sums of money to the joint activity of Hamas and the al-Aqsa institution in Jerusalem without listing and documenting the funds, through moneychangers, smuggling and bank transactions.
The material collected by the defense establishment also revealed that the al-Aqsa institution serves as the executive wing of Hamas' "hadawa" headquarters in the Jerusalem area.
This activity includes helping Hamas members with financial and logistic aid for the movement's organizational activity in Jerusalem. Sources in the defense establishment stressed that some of the funds transferred from Hamas' associations across the world to the movement in the West Bank and Gaza were used for the execution of terror attacks.
Zahi Nujidat, a spokesman for the Islamic Movement's northern branch, criticized the security forces' claims regarding the joint activity with Hamas.
"What happened tonight was that the Israeli establishment went bankrupt, having no answer to the solid and strong information on the al-Aqsa institution's activities in regards to the damage caused to the holy sites in general and to the al-Aqsa Mosque in particular. It chooses to use the stick method instead of talking and convincing," he said.
Al-Aqsa serves as the movement's supreme institution in terms of activity related to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque. On Friday, the movement held a charity event for the mosque under the banner "The al-Aqsa is in Danger Festival".
Tens of thousands of people took part in the event, including Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the movement's northern branch, who delivered a harsh speech accusing Israel of desecrating the mosque.
This is not the first time security forces seek to stop the movement's activities. In May 2003, police forces raided the movement's offices in the northern city and arrested many of its members, including Sheikh Salah. In the past, police forces also raided the offices of a newspaper distributed by the movement.
'Israel defiled Al-Aqsa Mosque'
reprinted from Ynet
Tens of thousands flock to annual fundraising event held by Islamic Movement in Umm al-Fahm. Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah delivers fiery speech calling on Arab world to fight 'Israeli occupation of Jerusalem' Sharon Roffe-Ofir
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Umm al-Fahm on Friday evening for the annual organized by the Islamic Movement under the banner 'Al-Aqsa is in danger.' The event is intended to help raise funds for the famous mosque in Jerusalem.
The audience greeted the leader of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, with chants calling for "the redemption of al-Aqsa with blood and fire."
Salah vowed the movement would continue sponsoring the event annually, until it is able to hold it in Jerusalem.
"The enemy must be asking for how long do we intent to hold the Al-Aqsa festival. I say, till the occupation is lifted from Jerusalem and the mosque, then we will have the festival in the mosque itself under a banner of victory."
"I say to the Israeli occupation, and those representing it, to (Prime Minister) Olmert, (President) Peres and (Defense Minister) Barak, after 40 years that you are occupying the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and digging all sorts of ditches and building synagogues under the mosque, and building an Israeli museum under the mosque, I say to you that you occupation will be removed from above Jerusalem and from the mosque."
The sheikh told the crowd that the Israeli occupation has defiled the mosque, and that Israelis drank alcohol in it and engaged in sexual acts on its grounds.
"We say to you on behalf of all the people here, that your plan, which we exposed, despite your dream to destroy the mosque, your occupation will not last for long."
Salah also had a message for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh ahead of the upcoming month of Ramadan. "What we are asking from you both for this holiday, a gift for every Muslim and every free man, is to renew the dialogue and reconcile."
To the Arab world, he said: "Where is your manliness? For 40 years the Al-Aqsa Mosque calls to you and asks where you are. Do you accept that we, the besieged, must ask permission from the Israeli occupation to enter the mosque? Must ask for permission to pray in the mosque?"
Moussa: Arab media must focus on Jerusalem
One of several keynote speakers, Umm al-Fahm Mayor Hasham Abed al-Rahman, called on the leaders of Arab nations to dedicate themselves to working for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and ending the occupation of Arab countries.
"Our hands are outstretched in peace, but at the same time we say: Stop the occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine," he said. Al-Rahman also called for unity between the warring Palestinian factions, and said "there will be no peace until there is peace between these movements."
A telegram sent by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa was also read to the crowd.
"We are saddened by what is happening in Al-Aqsa and by what the Israeli occupation is doing in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at the center of the Arab League's agenda, and the Arab media should focus on what is being done in the city and in the mosque."
Prominent figures from the Islamic Movement took part in the event, as well as numerous guests from various locations worldwide. Representatives of the Islamic Movement in South Africa were also in attendance at the rally, which corresponded with a similar event in their own country.
The arrival of the South African delegation was not with incident, as Israeli officials barred the entry of the movement chapter's leader, Sheikh Maulana Ihsan Hendriks.
However, other representatives from the delegation, speaking at the rally on the Sheikh's behalf, called on the audience to be patient.
"Know that the wheel turns, and that the sun will yet shine. We say to you, be patient, in the end victory will belong to Islam. We hope that soon we will pray together in Jerusalem, in Al-Aqsa," said Sheikh Ibrahim Ibrahim, one of the South African delegates.
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