Cabinet to mull banning Islamic Movement

Cabinet to consider bill

The cabinet will consider legislation banning the Islamic Movement being drafted by Israel Beiteinu ministers Uzi Landau and Yitzhak Aharonovitch, sources in the party said Tuesday. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud) wrote cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser a letter on Tuesday asking him to add to next week's cabinet meeting agenda the banning of the Islamic Movement. The events of the past two weeks in Jerusalem will be addressed in the meeting's security briefing but no vote is expected until the bill's draft is completed by the ministers' legal advisers the following week. "The Palestinian Authority has joined with the Islamic Movement in challenging Israel's sovereignty in east Jerusalem," Shalom wrote Hauser. "We must enforce the sovereignty of Israel throughout Jerusalem, especially on the Temple Mount, and stop the PA from trying to take control in Jerusalem. This is a test for law enforcement authorities." Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) announced on Tuesday night that he would take action against imams and mayors who receive funding from his ministry and were inciting against Israel. He is investigating whether he can withhold funding from such imams or even fire them. "The State of Israel is the sovereign in Jerusalem and there is no force that can limit it in the eternal, united capital of the Jewish people," Yishai said. "No amount of anti-Jewish preaching in Israel or abroad could undermine the Jewish people's connection to their capital." Shalom and Landau's associates both gave the ministers credit for the arrest of Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah on Tuesday night after both had called for his arrest earlier in the day in radio interviews. "Sheikh Raed Salah should be behind bars and so should [deputy Islamic Movement head] Kamal Khatib," Shalom told Israel Radio early Tuesday. "I intend to raise the issue in the next cabinet meeting." While Shalom praised the police force for doing its job, he stressed that "it's time for the State Prosecution to start taking action." He said Israel must crack down on the rioters, because if it fails to do so, those fanning the violence will interpret this as weakness and intensify their anti-Israel activities. Landau also demanded the indictment of Muslim leaders who were calling for violence and confrontation in the capital and encouraging hateful anti-Israeli sentiment, among them "Sheikh Raed Salah and his ilk." "Israel must stop paying the salaries of imams and heads of mosques who engage in incitement against the State of Israel," he said. He also called for discussion in the cabinet on bringing PA activity in Jerusalem to a halt. Landau said that implementing his suggestions could possibly "put a stop to the inflammation that brings about the wounding of soldiers, stone-throwing, riots and clashes." Minorities Minister Avishay Braverman told Israel Radio that the government was strict about ensuring that Jews would not pray at the Temple Mount and stressed that Jews are forbidden from entering the compound according to Jewish law. Extremists on both sides were trying to incite violence and set fire to the Middle East, Braverman said, adding that it was essential to stop them. Yifa Ya'akov and Shalhevet Zohar contributed to this report.