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Islamic Movement Initiates Effort to Flood Temple Mount

Raad Salah has been talking with Arab clan leaders from Jerusalem and beyond, in an effort to increase the Muslim presence on the Temple Mount.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 5/11/2007, 1:45 AM / Last Update: 5/10/2007, 11:05 PM

Sheikh Raad Salah, the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, has been working hard to ensure that thousands of Muslims will arrive in Jerusalem's Old City every day to pray in the Al-Aksa mosque, located on the Temple Mount. Salah has been talking with Arab clan leaders from Jerusalem and its environs in an effort to convince them to take turns bringing their entire extended families to the mosque.

Salah also said that he plans to see to it that Jerusalem mosques are closed on Friday, the Muslim day of rest, in order to force all those who wish to take part in group prayers to travel to the Al-Aksa mosque. He has talked to Muslim leaders in other parts of Israel, asking them to tell their followers to visit the Jerusalem mosque in order to demonstrate a strong Muslim presence there. Such a presence, Salah is telling local Muslims,
Salah also said that he plans to see to it that Jerusalem mosques are closed on Friday.
is the best defense against "Israeli aggression."

Salah expressed his conviction that Jerusalem will fall into Muslim hands by "Heavenly promise." He also said that in such a conquest, no sign of a Jewish presence will remain.

Several months ago, Jerusalem police initiated an investigation of Salah for incitement-filled, anti-Israel speeches he made in Nazareth and Wadi Joz. Earlier, he was banned from Jerusalem for several days after inciting violent mobs against Israeli policemen. Salah claimed that Israel was trying to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount. He was also accused of attacking a police officer during the anti-Israel demonstrations.

The Islamic Movement is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, as is Hamas. Group members call Salah the leader of the "1948 branch."