The Yerushalayim District Court convicted three Arab Israelis today of illegal activity under the Terrorism Funding Act.
Muhammed Jabarin, 52, from Umm al-Fahm, Najib Qawasmeh, 61, and Khalil Abbasi, 59, both from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, were charged with illegally paying Arabs to harass Jewish worshipers visiting the Temple Mount. The Arabic name for the harassment squads is mourabitoun.
The mourabitoun were founded in 2012 by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Before being declared an illegal organization in September, 2015, the group operated free daily shuttles to the Temple Mount for Islamic activists from all corners of the country. Israeli security officials said that activists were paid USD 771–1,028 a month, with some of the funds coming from the Gulf States.
According to the indictment, the three men were convicted of transferring money from dubious sources, such as Qatar, placing the funds in prepaid debit cards, handing them out to Temple Mount activists as payment. This activity was conducted after the organization had been declared illegal and thus constitutes a criminal offense.
According to the indictment, Jabarin delivered USD 32,000 in cash to Qawasmeh and Abbasi, who then were responsible for distributing the money to activists as payment for rioting and harassing Jews on the Temple Mount.
All three men plead guilty as part of a plea bargain with the Jerusalem District Attorney. They expect to receive a sentence of 14 months prison time and a USD 5,000 fine each.
By Michael Zeff – Tazpit News Agency / Photo: Hillel Maeir/TPS