Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon signed an order Wednesday declaring the groups of Islamists who regularly harass Jews on the Temple Mount – the male “Murabitun” and female “Murabitat” – as illegal organizations.
The activists regularly riot on the Mount, curse, shout, and throw various objects at the Jews who ascend the Mount, and sometimes attack police as well.
Yaalon signed the order upon the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police, after he became convinced that it was necessary for preserving the public peace and security of the nation.
“The activity of the Murabitun and Murabitat is a central element in creating the tension and violence on the Temple Mount in particular and in Jerusalem in general,” said a statement issued by Yaalon's bureau. “This is dangerous and inciting activity against tourists, visitors and worshipers at the site, that leads to violence and could cause loss of life.”
The declaration was signed after it received the approval of the Attorney General, and it means that anyone participating in Murabitun/Murabitat activities, organizing or funding it, is carrying out a crime and is likely to face prosecution.
Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan (Likud) sent Ya'alon letter last month, asking him to urgently declare the Arab organizations that create mayhem on the Temple Mount as illegal, so that security forces will have a freer hand against the rioters.
Erdan had been carrying out behind-the-scenes staff work, together with police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet), the State Attorney's Office and even the Attorney General, who agreed to help advance the declaration.
In the discussions of the problem, Erdan was shown evidence that the Murabitun and Murabitat are directed by the northern arm of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
The purpose of their activity is to destabilize the status quo on the Temple Mount, and they have succeeded in creating escalation on the Mount, and in making the security situation there untenable.
"Events on the Temple Mount have led youths to commit acts of terror in the past, and could do so again in the future,” said sources close to Erdan. They added that the Murabitun and Murabitat's activities on the Temple Mount have caused much friction and violence between the organizations' members and Jews visiting the Mount.
Erdan's letter to Ya'alon was accompanied by professional opinions from the Israel Police and the ISA.
Erdan's bureau said that the aggressive and threatening behavior of the Arabs on the Temple Mount affects the compound's routine very negatively, endangers the public and makes it difficult to maintain the peace.