Daily Israel Report

Islamists Claim Sheikh's Office Was Bugged by Shin Bet

Islamic Movement in Israel accuses Israel of planting bug in office of leader Raed Salah, who was recently fined for slapping officer.
By Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/21/2014, 3:08 PM

Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah
Flash 90

The Islamic Movement in Israel has claimed that the office of its leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, was tapped by General Security Services (Shin Bet).

Salah was let off with a 9,000 shekel (roughly $2,500) fine this week over disruptive behavior in the Allenby crossing to and from Jordan - in 2011 he was arrested for slapping a security officer as his wife was being searched.

Sheikh Kamel al-Khativ, deputy leader of the Islamist movement headed by Salah, claimed to journalists in Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday that workers in Salah's office had ordered a technician to fix a problem in the phone lines, at which time the technician replaced a small box with a recording device in it.

Al-Khativ clarified his claim, saying Shin Bet agents had placed a small tapping device in the small box to record everything being said in the office, not just to bug the phone line. He said the device was found after breaking the box open.

The deputy leader accused Israel of using public companies as a cover to gather intelligence, and said the Islamic Movement in Israel intends to sue telecommunications company Bezeq and demand answers from the government's legal adviser.

The recent fine is just the latest in a string of run-ins with the law by Salah.

Salah was given a suspended eight month sentence for incitement to violence in March, calling on Muslims to physically stop Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.

In 2010 Salah was jailed for five months after spitting at an Israeli police officer. Last year he labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva.

After the eight month sentence ruling in March, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir faced off against Salah and his supporters in front of the court, saying: "terrorists, in any normal country they would send you all for life sentences, enough of this legal helplessness and the State Attorney's policy that gives you an easy time."