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Petition Demands Jail Time for Islamist Sheikh Raed Salah

Jerusalem District Attorney petitions fine against Sheikh Raed Salah who attacked a security officer, calls for jail sentence.
By Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 7/2/2014, 10:13 AM

Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah
Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Attorney on Wednesday submitted a petition to the Jerusalem District Court against the light punishment handed down against Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel.

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

In the petition, the District Attorney asked that the sentence be made harsher, calling for an accumulated active prison sentence.

Salah was banned from traveling abroad from Israel last month, after Interior Minister Gid'on Sa'ar and security officials received information that he would be conducting "activities dangerous to national security" abroad. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to outlaw Salah's movement on Sunday, referring to the anti-Israel incitement last Friday outside Umm-Al-Fahm at a rally calling for the abduction of Israeli soldiers, which Netanyahu attributed to the Islamic Movement.

The Israeli government in late May began discussions on whether to declare Salah's Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel an illegal organization. Salah has been jailed for incitement in the past after calling followers to physically block Jews from entering the Temple Mount, and has been sentenced in the past for incitement and assault, among other nationalistically-motivated crimes.

The Islamic Movement has also been involved in the violent "Nakba Day" protests opposing Israel's existence.

Salah has a long history of breaching the public order; he was jailed for five months in 2010 for 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 Salah was given a suspended eight-month sentence in March for incitement regarding the Temple Mount, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir faced off against him 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."