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Radical Islam Movement Gains Momentum Among Israeli Arabs

The leader of the extremist northern faction of the Islamic movement, Raed Salah, drew tens of thousands of Muslims to a rally in support of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and against coexistence within Israeli society.
A woman participates in a silent protest held by the Arab Doctors Union outside the British Embassy in Cairo July 12, 2011. The protesters demanded the release of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in the Palestinian Territories and Imam of Al-Aqsa mosque, who has been detained in London on charges of entering Britain illegally.  REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL-GHANY (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS RELIGION) - RTR2OSIA

On Friday, Sept. 20, the annual rally of the northern faction of the Islamic movement in Israel was held in Umm al-Fahm, under the banner, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is in Danger.” But Jerusalem was not at the center of the event — one of the largest organized by the movement in Umm al-Fahm — but rather the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The northern faction of the Islamic movement in Israel has been led by Sheikh Raed Salah since the 1990s. Salah, whose father served as a policeman in the Israeli police, joined the Islamic movement while it was still unified under the leadership of Abdullah Nimer Darwish, but very soon became the leader of the movement’s extremist line, which opposed the institutions of the state of Israel. With this agenda, he was even elected mayor of Umm al-Fahm (1989-2001). In the eyes of Jewish Israelis, during his term the city seemed hostile, governed and supported by religious fanatics who identify with Hamas.

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