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Islamist Sheikh Raed Salah's Travel Ban Extended to December

Noose tightens around Islamic Movement in Israel, as travel ban reissued amid multiple threats to blacklist the Hamas-linked organization.
By Uzi Baruch and Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 7/2/2014, 5:46 PM

Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah
Flash 90

Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar has extended a travel ban on Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, citing concerns over national security. 

Earlier this month, Sa'ar banned Salah from leaving Israel after information became known to security officials that Salah was planning to foment anti-Israel incitement abroad. 

Now, the temporary ban has been extended to December 9, 2014.

Also on Wednesday, the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office filed an appeal to the Jerusalem District Court against the leniency of Raed Salah's sentence in his conviction for an offense relating to disturbing a policeman in the line of duty. 

The original sentence given included a mere  9,000 shekel (roughly $2,500) fine for the 2011 offense, whereby he slapped a security officer at the Allenby crossing to and from Jordan. 

Salah has a long history of violence and incitement. He was also 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. 

He was also given a suspended eight month sentence in March for incitement regarding the Temple Mount. 

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 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.

The noose has tightened on both Salah and the movement itself as of late, with the Israeli government beginning discussions in May on whether to declare the Islamic Movement in Israel's northern branch an illegal organization. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to blacklist the organization as a terror group. 

[The movement] constantly preaches against Israel, and has publicly identified with terrorist organizations like Hamas," Netanyahu noted. "Therefore, I have instructed the competent officials to explore the possibility of declaring the northern branch of the Islamic movement as blacklisted."

"This announcement will provide significant tools for the security authorities to battle the movement," he added. 

If banned, Salah's group will join another Hamas front group, Islamic Relief, which was banned last month by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon for funneling money to the terrorist group.