Islamic Movement (Northern Branch)

The Islamic Movement in Israel split into two branches in 1996 over the question of whether to stand candidates for election in the Israeli Knesset. The southern branch chose to engage in the Israeli political system and formed the Ra’am party. By contrast, the northern branch chose to boycott the political system and elections. Today the Northern Branch is led by Raed Salah. It is thought to have relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In November 2015, the Israeli government issued an executive order under the 1945 Emergency Regulations that outlawed the northern Islamic Movement and 17 associated NGOs. The Murabitat and Murabitoun, a collective established by the movement to ‘defend’ Al-Aqsa, were also outlawed. The deputy leader of the Northern Branch, Kamal al-Khatib, was arrested by Israeli security forces in May 2021 and subsequently indicted for “incitement to terrorism, violence, and identification with a terrorist organisation” in relation to widespread protests by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Raed Salah has also been arrested on several occasions.