Ten Israeli Arabs Arrested for Funding, Directing Har HaBayis Riots

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian throws back a tear gas canister at Israeli soldiers during disturbances at Har HaBayis on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinian throws back a tear gas canister at Israeli soldiers during disturbances at Har HaBayis earlier in 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli officials have arrested ten top members of the Islamic Movement for incitement activities on Har HaBayis, it was revealed for publication Sunday. The ten, residents of northern Israel, operated a network that recruited rioters whose job it was to throw stones at Jews in the area of Har HaBayis, as well as to shout down at and attack Jews at the entrance to the site. Indictments were handed down against four of them Sunday, and further indictments are on the way, officials said.

Gedolei Haposkim have said many times that halachah forbids Jews from entering Har HaBayis.

The rioters, known as the “Murabitun” (male) and “Murabitat” (female), received payments, transportation and other assistance for rioting and throwing rocks at Jews. The groups were declared illegal, and proven membership in them could land a member in prison.

The riots were organized by agents of the groups, and scheduled in conjunction with schedules of journalists, who were invited to take footage and photos of their activities. Buses transported hundreds of Arabs a day to Har HaBayis, where they were given their instructions, with some days set aside for “major rioting,” and others for smaller protests.

The rioting project was organized along the lines of a business, Israeli officials said. Male rioters received NIS 1,500 per month for their activities, while females – who mostly shouted down at Jews in the Old City – received NIS 1,000. Free transportation was furnished via chartered buses, and those who wished to drive received one shekel per kilometer traveled, as well as gas money. Residents of Yerushalayim who joined the “business” received a bonus – prepaid credit cards that they could use to make purchases. Most of the payments, however, were made in cash, in order to hide the flow of funds from authorities.

In a statement, police said that “membership in such groups, as well as their activities, are a serious threat to Israeli security. Israeli security forces, including Israel Police and the Shin Bet, will continue to prevent the organization of such groups and ensure the security of the public.”