Netanyahu accused of keeping radical cleric in jail

Lawyer for Islamic Movement leader claims Netanyahu and Erdan are keeping his client in jail for no reason.

Dalit Halevi ,

Raed Salah
Raed Salah
Avi Dishi/Flash 90

Khaled Zabarqa, the lawyer of Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on Sunday accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan of continuing Salah's imprisonment despite the fact that there is no reason to do so.

Salah was arrested in August and charged with incitement to terrorism in connection with the unrest on the Temple Mount a month earlier.

The prosecution noted that Salah praised the July 14 terrorist attack in which three Israeli Arabs from his hometown of Umm al-Fahm murdered two policemen after emerging from the Temple Mount.

Salah is being held in solitary confinement in the Ramon Prison in the Negev, and according to his attorney, the authorities are refusing to allow him to meet with his family.

Zabarqa claimed that Netanyahu and Erdan are openly and behind the scenes interfering in the court's decisions, and that their sole purpose is to ensure that Salah continues to remain in detention.

He further claimed that the authorities are trying to incriminate Salah because of his remarks about the “victory of vigilance and the basic Palestinian principles”, while Salah in his remarks only referred to the religious and popular aspects of these terms.

Zabarqa added that Salah is not prepared to retract his remarks and that he wants to see the victory of the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic fundamental principles in order for them to be established in Palestinian Arab society.

Salah previously served a nine-month jail sentence after being convicted of encouraging violent attacks and inciting racism in a 2007 sermon.

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.

The Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which Salah heads, in November of 2015.



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