WATCH: Jerusalem Police disperse Islamic Movement meeting
Jerusalem police on Thursday forcibly dispersed a meeting of the Islamic Movement, which was outlawed in November, at a hotel in the eastern part of the city. Abu Bakr al-Shimi, well-known member of the organization, was arrested.
Police used riot dispersal methods, including a stun grenade, after protesters against the decision to prevent the meeting began to riot.
Mohammad Barakeh, chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab citizens of Israel, organized the event and said it was not a meeting of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, but rather a press conference to discuss Arab organizations that have been outlawed because it was claimed they were tied to the Islamic Movement.
He told Ynet that “the police’s version is full of lies and contradiction. There were no clashes – they forbade journalists from entering the hotel, a crowd gathered, and they threw a stun grenade to disperse it.”
Regarding the outlawed groups, which he described as humanitarian, Barakeh argued that the groups are completely independent and not related to the Islamic Movement.
The November decision to outlaw the group, made by the Security Cabinet, means that any person or group that officially associates with the organization can be subject to criminal penalties, including arrest.
In addition, the organization’s property can be confiscated.
There were some dissenting opinions in Shin Bet circles regarding the move, raising concerns that the decision might lead to anger and an eruption of violence, and that it could cause the members of the northern branch to move their activities underground, which could make them tougher to track.