Fifteen thousand Israeli Arabs gather to protest Israel's ban on Islamic Movement

"We will sacrifice our lives for the al-Aksa Mosque," shouted demonstrators, who waved Palestinian flags and demanded Israel cancel its decision to ban the movement's activities.

By ARIK BENDER, YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA, YONATAN HILLELI
November 28, 2015 19:22
1 minute read.
protest umm al-fahem today against banning of Islamic Movement

Protest in Umm al-fahm on Saturday, November 28, against banning of the northen branch of the Islamic Movement. (photo credit: JOINT LIST)

Fifteen thousand Arab citizens gathered in protest in Umm al-Fahm on Saturday afternoon to show solidarity with the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which was outlawed by the state of Israel earlier this month. 

"We will sacrifice our lives for the al-Aksa Mosque," shouted demonstrators, who waved Palestinian flags and demanded Israel cancel its decision to ban the movement's activities.

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The demonstration was attended by Arab Knesset members on The Joint List, headed by MK Ayman Odeh, former MK Mohammad Barakeh, and chairman of the southern branch of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabs.

The demonstrators raised signs with slogans written on them, including "No to the military" and "Occupation is left outside the law." 

Former MK Barakeh, who spoke at the event, said "al-Aksa needs to be defended even if the Islamic movement outlawed. The demonstration today was done to declare that the government's decision to remove the Islamic Movement is unacceptable, and can not be accepted by any Palestinian society in Israel."

"Arab society will not allow the government to reject and isolate any of our political elements," he added.

Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah called for action against Israel's "racist policies," saying "we will not wait for legitimization by the Israeli occupation. This institution [Israel], which closed institutions serving about half a million Palestinians - is the real terrorist."

"Netanyahu is leading Israel into the unknown. This announcement is blind hatred," added Salah. "We will win over their racism and hate. Blood and fire we will redeem al-Aksa and put an end to this occupation for good."

Local Police reported that the demonstration ended without any violent incidents. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the end of the dispersion by several young men at the inner square without causing casualties or damage.



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