Daily Israel Report

Muslim Leader: Muslims Need to 'Liberate' Jerusalem

Israeli Arab Sheikh Raed Salah calls the Muslim world to work toward the liberation of Jerusalem from “the Israeli occupation.”
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/24/2012, 2:44 AM

Raed Salah
Raed Salah
Flash 90

Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has once again urged the Muslim world to unite and work toward the liberation of Jerusalem from “the Israeli occupation.”

Salah, who is currently in Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, said that the message from “Palestine” to Muslim pilgrims from around the world highlights the importance of unifying the lines so that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds (the Arab name for Jerusalem) can be released from “the Israeli occupation" and returned to the fold of Islam.

Salah also said that it is obligatory for every Muslim to love Palestine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds, and said that the goal of the pilgrims who come from the Palestinian Authority is to raise awareness of the danger of the so-called "Judaization policies" applied by Israel in Jerusalem.

"I expect that Muslims will visit Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds after the occupation disappears and we get rid of the last occupation that still exists in the world," said Salah, in a speech translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi.

“This can only be achieved if all Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder and unite in extracting Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds from the despicable claws of the occupation,” he added.

Salah has been arrested and jailed several times in Israel for incitement and assaulting police officers.

He was arrested in the London hotel at which he was staying in June of 2011 by British immigration authorities, who alleged that Salah had entered Britain illegally after having previously been declared persona non grata.

Despite Salah being banned from the country, airport police had allowed him to enter. Labor Members of Parliament had even invited him to speak at the legislature. The ban did not prevent him from passing through immigration inspection at Heathrow Airport.  He was reportedly arrested only after British newspapers published his appearance.

The British Home Office subsequently agreed to release Salah. A British immigration board later ruled that Salah is “undesirable” and can be deported from the United Kingdom.

Salah subsequently returned to Israel, and ten days later took part in a march protesting Israel's victory in the 1948 Independence War, and the fact that Arabs lost some territory as a result of their defeat.

Two weeks ago, he brought his hate message to Be’er Sheva to incite Muslims against Israeli “terrorists.”

In a new twist, Salah claimed that Israel has destroyed the unlikely number of 1,200 mosques since the War for Independence in 1948 - an unheard of accusation - and has converted many mosques into restaurants. He alleged that some of them are used to serve wine, prohibited by Islam, and that others host dances.

He labeled Israeli leaders as “crazy,” “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah and the Prophet Mohammed.”