Charges against senior members of the Islamic Movement: Millions received from Turkey and Britain
Senior members of the organization, which was outlawed two years ago, were indicted for continuing to operate in secrecy with the help of a shelf corporation they had established in advance; with millions in funding from organizations in Turkey and the UK, dozens of projects were launched, pocketing high commissions in the meantime.
The indictments came after it was revealed that they secretly continued to operate via an alternate organization that they established in advance. The defendants were arrested in late March and early April.
Six of the defendants have been in detention for several weeks, and upon filing the indictment, the State Prosecutor's Office filed a request for their detention until the end of the legal proceedings in the case.
The detention request stated that "they are accused of extensive economic activity within the framework of a terrorist organization that was carried out against a large population. Not only does the organization regard the state's law as an adversary, much like other felons, but it also regard the state as an enemy, which it aims to destroy.
"The respondents knew very well that the organization in which they were operating was declared a terrorist organization, but they found a way to continue operating under the guise of another judicial framework prepared in advance to disguise their terrorist operations, should the organization be declared as such. Because of this, the respondents are untrustworthy, and the public must be protected from them through their detention."
In November 2015, the Minister of Defense declared the Islamic Movement an unlawful organization under the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945. The declaration noted key activists and stated that the declaration would apply to any body, office, institution, fund, company, corporation, council, association or center that belongs to the movement.
In November 2016, the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Law came into effect, according to which the Islamic Movement, by virtue of being an unlawful organization at the time of the enactment of the law, became a terrorist organization within the meaning of the new law.
The indictment describes how the defendants, who operated through a limited company and registered organization, initiated, planned and executed various projects on behalf of the Islamic Movement after it was outlawed and declared a terrorist organization.
The charges detail the way in which the defendants obtained money to carry out the forbidden projects, amounting to millions of shekels, from various associations in Turkey and the United Kingdom, which transferred funds to Israel for financing terrorist projects.
In addition, it was alleged that the defendants took "commissions" from those funds, which were transferred to them in cash. In the course of the investigation, two of the suspects were caught while transferring a sum of more than NIS 200,000 in cash.
The suspects, who have been in detention for 45 days, met their families for the first time in court. Some of them tried to touch or speak to their wives and children in the courtroom. The security guards warned them that it was forbidden and detained one woman who did not adhere to them. This led to an uproar in the courtroom, accompanied by loud vocal clashes.
One of the detainees said, "This will not stop us in defending Al-Aqsa and in caring for the weak." The lawyer of one of the detainees added that the funds were raised solely for the purpose of financing humanitarian activities for the residents of east Jerusalem and assisting the welfare of those in need.
In the court, it was agreed to postpone the first hearing in the case, so that the defense attorneys would be able to review and study the extensive investigation material. The next hearing is scheduled for June 1.
(Translated and edited by N. Elias)