Court denies radical cleric Salah's appeal

Supreme Court denies Raed Salah's request to appeal his conviction for inciting violence, but cuts his prison sentence by two months.

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Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request by radical Islamic cleric Raed Salah to appeal his conviction for inciting violence, but cut his prison sentence by two months to nine.

Salah heads the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which was recently outlawed by the Israeli government.

In March 2014, Jerusalem's Magistrates' Court found him guilty of inciting unrest at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2007, sentencing him to eight months in prison.

The state as well as Salah appealed the decision, and in 2014 the Jerusalem District Court convicted him of incitement to racism as well, increasing his sentence to 11 months, a decision appealed once more by both sides.

In October 2015 the District Court upheld the decision, with Salah requesting permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

On Monday the Supreme Court denied the request to appeal, but in a rare move reduced Salah's prison time to nine months from 11.

The ruling said this was "due to the fact that in the nine years that past since the event, (Salah) has not committed similar felonies".

Salah will begin his prison term on May 8.

The radical cleric has in the past labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva, and was also jailed for five months in 2010 for spitting at an Israeli police officer. 

Even after being convicted of incitement, Salah has continued his rhetoric. In February he accused Israel of being "racist" and claimed it had adopted racist policies against Israeli Arabs.

As well, he recently held a sermon in which he called for “jihad” and promised the audience that “the Israeli occupation” will vanish just like the Roman and Persian empires and British and French colonialism.

The remarks were released in a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The Islamic Movement and has been repeatedly involved in several incitement-laced activities, including violent "Nakba Day" protests, calls for an "intifada", and rioting on the Temple Mount. 

AFP contributed to this report.








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