Islamic Movement northern faction leaders remain in custody (JERUSALEM POST) By DAVID RUDGE 06/08/03)
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Five members of the Islamic Movement´s northern faction, including
its leader Sheikh Raed Salah and Umm el-Fahm Mayor Suleiman Agbariya,
have been remanded for a further 12 days.
The ruling was made by the Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday on the
basis of evidence, including classified information, submitted by the
police during the remand hearing the third since the suspects were
The five are suspected of funneling millions of dollars raised abroad
via Israel to organizations affiliated with Hamas in the territories.
Some of the money was allegedly used to support families of so-called
Lawyers representing the five argued in vain that there was
insufficient evidence to justify a further custodial remand, and they
should therefore be released.
All together, 17 members of the movement´s northern branch have been
arrested following a two-year-long covert inquiry by police and the
Shin Bet. Most of the other suspects have since been released to
Hundreds of supporters, many waving the green flags of the Islamic
Movement and holding aloft pictures of Salah, demonstrated outside
the court building during the remand hearing.
Several Arab politicians also participated in the demonstration, in
line with a call made by the monitoring committee of the Israeli Arab
leadership, which is composed of Arab MKs, council heads, and
prominent public figures.
The monitoring committee is scheduled to hold a press conference on
the issue later this week and is also organizing a rally to be held
in Umm el-Fahm on Friday.
"The Islamic Movement, including the northern faction, is an integral
and vibrant part of the Israeli Arab community," said monitoring
committee spokesman Abed Inbitawi. "It is a legitimate movement that
plays an active and positive role in the Arab community. We see [the
arrests] as a blow not just to the Islamic Movement but to the whole
of the Arab community and its leadership."
"We see this as a political message that the government wants to
relay through these arrests, and we don´t believe that there are any
security offenses or indeed any real legal basis for the arrests,"
(© 1995-2003, The Jerusalem Post 06/08/03)
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