Inciting Sheikh's punishment extended to 14 months in jail

Sheikh Omer Abu Sara, who termed Jews 'pigs' and 'monkeys' and called for their slaughter, was sentenced to 14 months in jail.

Ido Ben Porat,

El-Aksa mosque
El-Aksa mosque
Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Court acceded to an appeal by the prosecution to extend the sentence of Sheikh Omer Abu Sara, who was convicted of crimes of incitement to violence and terror and publicizing incitement to racism, to 14 months in jail.

During the course of November 2014, Abu Sara preached on the Temple Mount before some 100 worshipers including children. The speech was filmed and uploaded later to Youtube.

In the speech, entitled "Jewish characteristics according to the Quran", the Sheikh compared Jews to pigs and monkeys and described them as "evil characters, arrogant, money-grabbing, lowly, swindlers" and called for their murder.

Among other things the Sheikh said, "I say this to the Jews: It is time to slaughter you, time to kill you and we are ready for this in the name of Allah as righteous Muslims."

"We await the moment when the slaughtering period will begin," added the Sheikh. "When that day comes, the day of slaughter, we will slaughter you without mercy. On that day, O Allah bring that day, bring the day of their slaughter, the day of war, Allah bring the day of slaughter, the day of purification of al-Aksa from its filth."

The Jerusalem Magistrates court slapped an eight-month jail sentence and a six-month suspended sentence on Abu Sara for his incitement and the District Court extended this to 14 months in jail.

The judges stated that "these are radical declarations including clear-cut references to 'slaughter' and killing of Jews. Besides this, the respondent is a religious person whose words hold weight and potential influence, especially in the light of the place in which he gave his speech. The punishment should therefore reflect the seriousness of these acts and should also contain a deterrent element for the respondent and for those who wish to follow in his footsteps."

Jerusalem District Court Prosecutor Nati Ben-Hamou added that "the court accepted the prosecutions' view and ruled that exploiting free speech to spread inciting and racist comments and to incite to violence should be deplored, especially when they emanate from a senior and influential religious cleric and are said before a crowd of believers on Temple Mount and then uploaded to the internet to reach broader sectors. The prosecution claimed that the accused and those like him are fueling with their speeches and words the tensions which exist in Israel between Jews and Arabs, and thus are leading to a cycle of unending violence and to significant damage to the public's sense of security."

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