RealNews

Police Arrest Leaders Of Israel's Islamic Movement On Suspicion They Aided Hamas

Police on Tuesday arrested the leader and 13 members of Israel’s Islamic Movement on charges they funneled millions of dollars to the Hamas group, responsible for scores of suicide bombings. The arrests signaled a further downturn in relations between the Israeli government and the country’s 1.2 million-strong Arab minority. Israeli Arabs have long complained of systematic discrimination by the authorities, and tensions have been running especially high since police killed 13 Arabs in anti-government riots in October 2000. The Islamic Movement is the largest Arab organization in Israel. It has split into a more pragmatic branch that participates in Israel’s political life, and a more radical branch that has come out in support of Hamas, a Palestinian group operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli police minister, Tzahi Hanegbi, alleged Tuesday that the so-called northern branch of the Islamic Movement “inflamed the bonfire of terrorism.” The Islamic Movement had no immediate comment. Hamas said the Islamic Movement provided humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, and that it “Hamas” had no ties to the Israeli Arab group. Full Story

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