New Arab Political Party Arouses Suspicions

YERUSHALAYIM -

The newly formed — and ironically named — Trust and Reform Party has aroused suspicions that it is merely the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in disguise.

Analysts point out that the leadership of the new group was associated with the Northern Branch, which was closed down for incitement and support of terrorism.

For example, the party’s leader is Husam Abu Leil, who was the second deputy head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch.

Israeli Arab journalist Ghada Zoabi said the move seems to be a way for the Islamic Movement to bypass sanctions after being outlawed in November. Since then, many of the group’s bank accounts were frozen and their charities closed down.

Trust and Reform, which announced its existence in Nazareth on Monday, is not registered with the state and does not intend to run candidates for the Knesset, according to Israel Radio.