Five Islamic Movement Officials Go on Trial

David Ratner, Haaretz Correspondent
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
David Ratner, Haaretz Correspondent

The trial of five senior Islamic Movement officials opened Tuesday in the Haifa District Court.

The five - Raed Salah, head of the movement's northern branch, Mahmoud Mahajna, Tawfiq Mahajna, Nasser Agbariyeh and Dr. Suleiman Agbariyeh, the mayor of Umm al-Fahm - are charged with membership in and support for a terrorist organization, contact with a foreign agent and money laundering.

According to the indictment, the five conspired to set up various institutions that would solicit funds from organizations affiliated with Hamas overseas and then transfer the money to Hamas charities in the territories, Islamic Movement institutions in Israel and prisoners involved in security offenses and terrorist activity, all with the goal of furthering Hamas' aims.

The money was allegedly transferred from several overseas organizations, including the Al Aqsa Foundation in Germany, Interpal in Britain and the Charitable Coalition, an international organization founded in Syria that operates out of Qatar and other Gulf states.

In addition, Salah and Mahmoud Mahajna, who headed the movement's Institute for Humanitarian Aid, are accused of conspiring with Nabil Mahzouma, whom Israel freed and expelled to Lebanon in the 1985 prisoner exchange known as the Jibril deal. Since then, Mahzouma has served as an Iranian intelligence agent in Lebanon, responsible for recruiting and running Palestinian and Israeli Arab agents to obtain intelligence about Israel. Salah and Mahajna are charged with having been in continuous contact with Mahzouma in 2001-2002.

A few dozen Islamic Movement supporters demonstrated outside the courtroom Tuesday, accusing the government of "political persecution." They also, for the first time, attacked the media, accusing it of having already tried and convicted Salah.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them