World Bulletin / News Desk
"Over the weekend, there was a demonstration in Umm Al-Fahm in which infuriating calls and support for the abducting of IDF soldiers were heard," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
"In many cases, those behind such calls and demonstrations are from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement," he added.
Netanyahu claimed that the movement constantly preaches against Israel, while its people publicly identify themselves with "terrorist organizations" such as Hamas.
He called on Arab leaders in Israel to "courageously" denounce the remarks made during the Friday protest.
The Islamic movement was founded by Abdullah Nimer Darwish in 1971.
In 1996, the movement decided to field candidates in the Israeli Knesset election.
This, however, split the movement into two, namely the northern and the southern branch.
The northern branch led by Sheikh Raed Salah lobbied for boycotting the election, while the southern branch of Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur fielded a list of candidates in the polls.
Islamic Movement in Israel unfazed by threats
The northern branch of the Islamic Movement on Sunday lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to consider blacklisting the movement.
"There's a chorus of bad musicians, such as Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who want to deal with the Islamic Movement as an outlawed body," Sheikh Kamal al-Katteeb, the deputy head of the movement, told Anadolu Agency.
"But they forget that our movement extends from the Negev in the south to Galilee in the north," he added.
Al-Khateeb cited a tendency inside Israel to deal with his movement as outlaw, which will give the authorities carte blanche to target its infrastructure inside the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
He said the Islamic movement derives its legitimacy from God, not from anyone else.
"This is why I am certain that the movement will continue to carry on with its duty in defending the Palestinian people, their territories, and holy sites," al-Khateeb told AA.
He said the movement takes pride in participating in Friday's protests, even if it had not organized them.
The Muslim leader added that the protests were organized by the Arab Monitoring Committee and led by some Israeli Knesset Arab members.
"We are not afraid of the Israeli Prime Minister's threats," the group said in a statement.
"This is the second time in a month Netanyahu makes this request, not to mention Lieberman's statements, which are all made to the same effect," the movement added.Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2014, 10:11