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Shin Bet nabs cell from outlawed Islamic group over Temple Mount harassment

Four ‘senior members’ of the Islamic Movement in Israel who tried to harass Jews visiting the Temple Mount and to raise funds for continued harassment have been arrested and indicted, the Shin Bet, Israeli police and the Justice Ministry announced on Sunday.

The four were arrested during the months of October and November and were indicted in the Nazareth District Court on Sunday, with a total of 10 Islamic ‘activists’ having been interrogated as part of the investigation.

The charges filed by the Northern District Attorney’s Office included: conspiracy to commit a felony, membership in an illegal organization, illegal use of property for terrorist purposes and money laundering.

According to a statement by the Shin Bet, the defendants incited unrest at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and four of them tried to keep up the activity of the Murabitun and Murabitat, two groups outlawed in Israel since last year for harassing Jewish visitors.

The Murabitun and Murabitat were declared illegal by the Defense Ministry in November 2015 after years of harassing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount with the goal of eliminating Jewish visitation.

Members were paid for being present on the Temple Mount and for taking actions toward Jewish visitors.

The Shin Bet named the four “senior members” as Hikmet Fahim Mustafa Naama, 35, from the town of Arrabe, Yahya Mohammed Mahmoud Sutri, 54, from Nazareth, Abdel Karim Mohammed Abdel Qader Karim, 65, from Kfar Kana and Ismail Diab Mahmoud Lohani, 61, from Arrabe.

According to the Shin Bet, the four “operated an extensive network for fund-raising and paying Murabitun activists, which included transportation from all over the country to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.”

The indictment stated that after their organization was declared illegal they met in open spaces to avoid being wiretapped and used new techniques in efforts to raise around NIS 740,000 without being detected for some time before they were finally caught.

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