Leaders of the extremist Islamic Movement in Israel have claimed that Muslim MKs and other communal leaders took part in Saturday’s “Day of Rage” against the Prawer plan, which resettles Bedouin squatters to legal territories in the Negev.
In an official statement released earlier this week, the movement blessed the violent protesters, calling them “heroes” for their “honorable battle stance” against the “fascist” Israeli government. The movement claims that Israel is “racist” for trying to “expel the Arabs from the Negev and confiscate the their land.”
“We oppose and condemn the plans for the establishment of Jewish villages on Arab land to be confiscated in the Negev, and we see that [Israel has] a record of sadism, racism and contempt for all the Arabs.”
The movement failed to specify which Knesset members were involved with the movement.
The Islamic movement in the Negev, which is led by regional Sheikh Mousa Abu Iyada, opposes the sale of land owned by Muslims to Israelis and non-Muslims under restrictions they claim are imposed by Sharia law. The movement also claimed in a December 2011 demonstration that the entire Negev is “Waqf,” or sacred to Islam, and that Muslims are forbidden from “giving it up” to its legal Israeli owners under any circumstances.
This is not the first time the movement has supported demonstrations against Israeli Jews. Last year, the group organized protests in the central Israeli city of Lod against the budding Orthodox Jewish community there, claiming it was a “Jewish takeover” of the traditionally Arab-majority city.
Last month, the movement’s deputy leader Sheikh Kamal al-Hatib also threatened to take drastic measures if the Temple Mount was opened to equal rights for visitation, religious ritual, and prayer for Jewish groups.
Hatib said “The Palestinian people will rise up to defend Al Aqsa as it did after Ariel Sharon tried to defile it in 2000.” He called the Al Aqsa Mosque “the mouth of a volcano” that is “about to explode.”
The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, but following pressure from hardline Islamic groups the Israeli government continues to enforce harsh restrictions against Jews who wish to visit the Mount, including a total ban on Jewish prayer.