Israel bans Islamist Arab party

Israel flagISRAEL yesterday outlawed an Islamist group accused of inciting violence among the country’s Arab citizens, accusing it of fueling a deadly two-month escalation, AP report.

The move – Israel’s latest step aimed at stamping out the violent escalation – threatened to worsen already strained relations with the country’s Arab minority. Arab leaders condemned the decision.

The Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement of Israel, which provides religious and educational services for Israeli Arabs, routinely accuses Israel of trying to take over a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem, a charge Israel denies. The site is at the heart of the latest surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The government announced early yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet had approved the widely expected measure. Israeli politicians have repeatedly called for the ban since the violence erupted in mid-September.

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