Israeli forces raid Islamic Movement offices, blaming it for funding Hamas

Published August 24th, 2008 - 08:29 GMT

Israel security forces raided the offices of the Islamic Movement in the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm early on Sunday and accused it of aiding the Palestinian Hamas movement, police said. According to AFP, dozens of policemen and internal intelligence agents were involved in the raid on the offices of the Al-Aqsa institution, which is operated by the Israeli Arab Islamic party, a police official said.


Officers confiscated documents, computers, and a safe with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the operation which was ordered by the defence ministry, the official added.


Israeli security forces accuse the office of directing funds to the Hadawa organisation in east Jerusalem, which is operated by Hamas.


On its part, the Islamic Movement condemned the operation, saying that the "Israeli establishment went bankrupt, having no answer to the solid and strong information on the Al-Aqsa institution's activities in regards to the damage caused to the holy sites in general and to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular."


The Al-Aqsa institution claims to defend the mosque in Jerusalem's Old City from nearby construction projects and other actions it views as threats to the site.


Tens of thousands of supporters attended an Islamic Movement rally Friday night in which it warned of the dangers posed to the monument. In its statement the movement accused Israel of choosing "to use the stick method instead of talking and convincing."


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