MK Calls for Investigation of Islamic Movement Leader

The attorney general has been called upon to launch a criminal investigation into statements made by Raed Salah, an Islamic Movement leader in Israel. Salah is accused of incitement to violence.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz , | updated: 5:32 PM

Referring to the new government minister from Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, Sheikh Salah said, "Our land has already seen a lot of Liebermans, and they have gone and are no longer, and we step on them. And you are just like them, Lieberman. The land will swallow you, and our children will walk upon it."

In response to the comments, made before thousands of Israeli-Arabs at a rally in Nazareth on Friday, MK Yitzchak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitenu) called on Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to launch a criminal investigation against Salah. Aharonovitch said the sheikh's remarks are incitement to violence and murder.

In more general statements regarding the State of Israel as a whole, Salah said, "History has proven to us, for hundreds of years, that the occupier is destroyed and we remain on our land. And you, oh Israeli occupier - disappear! And we will remain in our country, with Allah’s help."

Raed Salah, a former mayor of the Arab-Israeli city of Um El-Fahm, spent more than two years in jail after a 2003 conviction for establishing contact with a foreign agent and aiding terror organizations. The charges involved providing monies and assistance to the Islamist Hamas terror organization.

Salah was also censured by the Ohr Commission for his role in instigating the Galilee riots of October 2000, during which Arabs in several key Galilee intersections assaulted Jewish motorists, blocked highways, and set banks and post offices on fire. 13 Israeli-Arabs were killed by police during those riots. A report prepared by the Prime Minister's Office in August 1998 stated that northern Israeli-Arabs, led by Sheikh Salah, were acting not only against the State of Israel, but also against Jews and Judaism, and that his group could become a strategic threat to Israel. A month later, Salah participated in and was injured during a day-long violent clash with police.

Salah also recently said that the entire Temple Mount complex, Judaism's most sacred site, is entirely Islamic.