Israel extends detention of leader of Islamic Movement’s northern branch – An Israeli court has extended the detention of a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel for allegedly inciting violence
last month and involvement in an outlawed organization.
The Rishon Lezion magistrate court on Thursday extended to August 21 the remand of Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, after he was arrested by Israeli police force in the Mahajina neighborhood of Umm al-Fahm city, located 20 kilometers northwest of Jenin, on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old preacher said in the court that he had been threatened by Jewish prisoners.
“If something happens, my blood is going to be on [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's hands," he said.
Salah is accused of “inciting violence and terrorism, as well as affiliation with and support of an illegal and banned union.”
Following the court’s announcement, around 25 people held a demonstration outside the courtroom in protest at the decision.
Israeli police told the court that Salah’s allegations relate to a sermon he gave after a shooting incident close to Haram al-Sharif, which is known as Temple Mount to Jews, in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on July 14, which left at least three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.
Police claimed that the sermon was directly related to the death of the two policemen.
However, the cleric’s lawyers and supporters rejected the allegations and said his sermons were always within the bounds of free speech and that he “stands against the murder of innocents.”
They called Salah’s arrest political intimidation in order to silence dissent.
Haram al-Sharif is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The site is holy to both Muslims and Jews.
According to an agreement signed between the Tel Aviv regime and the Jordanian government — which administers al-Aqsa Mosque — after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, visits to the compound by Israelis are permitted but non-Muslim worship is prohibited.
Salah’s arrest came after he was released in January this year following nine months of detention.
On May 8, 2016, the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel began a nine-month prison term handed down to him on charges of promoting anti-Israel hatred at Ohalei Kedar Prison, located north of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.
Israel’s so-called High Court of Justice had reduced the influential Palestinian cleric’s original 11-month sentence to nine months on April 18.
In November 2015, Israeli authorities shuttered the offices of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, accusing it of being behind the recent wave of tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The occupied territories have witnessed a fresh bout of tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.***
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Editing: T.Bintang


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