Daily Israel Report

Radical Islamic Leader of Israeli Arabs Visits Temple Mount

Ra’id Salah, head of the radical Islamic movement in Israel, which denies the Jewish state’s right to exist, paid a visit to the mosques on the Temple Mount on Sunday.



By Scott Shiloh
First Publish: 11/20/2005, 4:12 PM / Last Update: 11/20/2005, 7:02 PM

Salah, who heads the Galilee branch of the movement, spent the past two and a half years in jail for a variety of security related offenses, among them, money laundering, membership in illegal organizations, maintaining illegal contacts with persons hostile to the state, and funding activities of the Hamas.

The Hamas is a radical Islamic terror group, popular among Arab residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Salah was released last July, on condition he not visit Jerusalem for four months. The ban expired last Thursday.

Fearing an outbreak of violence, police, according to one report, persuaded Salah, not to visit the Temple Mount last Friday. A spokesman for the Islamic movement, Zahi Nujidat, said however, that he did not know of any such agreement with the police. He said that Salah’s visit was planned for Sunday, due to time constraints.

The Islamic movement in Israel has gained in popularity out of the resentment many Israeli Arab citizens feel about living in a country under non-Moslem rule. Salah’s movment is centered in the Arab-populated city of Um al Fahm, located in the Nahal Iron (Wadi Ara) district, between the Sharon plain and the Galilee.

Salah’s movement is also fanatically anti-American. In he speech he gave on Sept. 18, Salah said that hurricane Katrina was brought about by President George W. Bush. “What has brought hurricane Katrina upon you is the injustice of George Bush Jr. and of the White House. Remove this injustice from the world if you want Allah's punishments to cease afflicting the American people,” he said.