Sheikh Ra’ed Salah was convicted Sunday by the Haifa Magistrates Court on charges of incitement to commit terrorism. The leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel was also convicted on the charge of illegal incorporation since he rules a movement that has been outlawed in the State of Israel for the past four years.
Salah, who is a long-time recidivist, is unable to stop exhorting Muslims in every creative way possible to do what they can against the State of Israel.
He has a long history of arrests and incitement; in 2003 he was arrested in Israel and held in administrative detention in connection with an accusation of supplying funds to the Hamas terrorist organization. He was also accused of having contact with an Iranian intelligence agent.
In 2005 he was freed in a plea bargain deal that placed him on a travel ban from leaving the country. In 2010, Salah was again arrested and convicted on charges of assaulting a police officer and leading a riot. He served five months in prison. Salah continued his incitement against the State of Israel: in 2013 he was tried for remarks he made in 2007 at Wadi Joz and convicted by the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court, which sentenced him to eight months in prison.
In 2014 Salah was again convicted, this time for obstructing a police search at a border crossing three years prior. An example of his typical incitement can be seen in one line from a sermon Salah delivered that same in Nazareth, when he said, “Inshallah, Jerusalem will soon become the capital of the global caliphate.” Salah further said: “I am confident that if the circumstances of the Muslims were as they should be, they would march to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in tens of millions.”
In 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Political-Security Cabinet declared the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel to be an unlawful association. Most of the movement’s institutions, including associations and civic organizations, were shut down. “Any person belonging to this organization and any person who gives or operates a service within the organization, commits a criminal offense and may be subject to imprisonment,” the decree stated. In addition, all the property belonging to the organization was confiscated.
In 2017, Salah was again arrested and charged with multiple accusations of incitement to terror, specifically a shooting attack.
The charges stemmed from sermons and speeches Salah gave in support of three Arab citizens of Israel who committed a terrorist attack at the Temple Mount on July 14, 2017. The attack, carried out by three terrorists from Salah’s city of Umm al-Fahm, left two Israeli police officers dead, and all three terrorists died as well.
In addition, the incident sparked a 10-day standoff between Israel and Islamic authorities in Jerusalem over enhanced security measures at entrances to the Temple Mount.
In response to the charges of incitement to terror, Salah claimed he was merely “quoting the Quran and that he was on trial for promulgating Islam.”