The Nazareth Magistrates' Court sentenced Sheikh Nazem Abu-Salim to three years in jail for incitement to terrorism and violence, and of support for a terror organization.
Salim, 47, is a popular preacher who often addressed thousands with his Friday sermons. Prosecutors said his ideology is identical to that of Al-Qaeda. He was arrested in October 2010, and has been under house arrest since.
In addition to promoting his extremist ideology in sermons, Salim was convicted of founding an extremist group called Ansar Allah. The group was declared illegal in July 2011 due to its support for terrorism.
In June 2010 an Ansar Allah terrorist cell with Al Qaeda-like ideology was uncovered in Nazareth. The cell had 20 members with varying levels of involvement. Members of the group were found to have been influenced by Salim’s speeches.
Members of the group were charged with the 2009 murder of a Jewish taxi driver, as well as violent attacks on Jews and Christians in the Galilee.
On November 30, 2009, three members of the group decided to murder a Jewish cab driver. The three -- Ahmed Ahmed, Aleb Ghanem, and Heider Ziadna -- began by ordering a cab from the nearby Jewish city of Nazareth Illit. One of the terrorists entered the cab, and when it reached its destination, shot and killed the driver, 54-year-old father and grandfather Yafim Weinstein.
The other two terrorists helped the murderer escape and worked to hide evidence linking him to the crime. After their arrest, they confessed to the crime and led police to the place where the murder weapon was hidden.
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said Tuesday that the sentence is too light for a person who turned himself into an engine for the murder of Jews. There is no doubt that if this were a member of the Hilltop Youth convicted of a Price Tag operation the sentence would have been heavier."