Sheikh Raed Salah leaving jail
Sheikh Raed Salah leaving jailUri Lenz/ Flash 90

In the midst of the growing wave of terror attacks, Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has called on Arab residents of Judea and Samaria to go forth in an intifada terror war and declared that the "Third Intifada" has already started.

Salah told Al-Jazeera "residents of the (West) Bank should not respond to occurrences in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) from a position as observers of the situation, but rather residents of the Bank want to emphasize their commitment to the holiness of Al-Aqsa (Mosque) and the holy city."

"The (Palestinian) Authority should provide them an environment of freedom and not act to oppress their processions as happened in Hevron and Shechem (Nablus)," continued Salah, calling for demonstrations that frequently feature violent clashes with IDF forces. The PA has in the past said it is giving a free hand to terror.

Salah then praised the rise in terrorism as a "new intifada."

"The Third Intifada has started and the important thing that characterizes it is the Jerusalemite who feels he is taking part in the war for existence, to be or not to be, and he is standing firm now against the plan of ethnic purification that the occupation is compelling and applying against them."

The Islamist leader's claim that the recent string of Arab terror attacks constitutes an intifada comes after Israeli police were found to be defining the recent attacks as "Intifada 2014."

Salah continued "as long as we are connected to the residents of Bayt Al-Maqdis (an Arabization of 'the Holy Temple' in Hebrew and a name for Jerusalem), and the environs of Bayt Al-Maqdis, we will continue to act against the Zionist aggression and we won't allow a division in place and time (for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount)."

"We will continue stressing this basic stance of Islam," said Salah. "The fate of the Zionist occupation will be no longer than the Crusaders' occupation, which arrived in this land and was defeated, so too the British occupation that arrived and was defeated."

There has been talk in the Knesset of outlawing Salah and his Islamic Movement in Israel, with Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) arguing Salah's incitement is a key factor behind the recent rioting and attacks.

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

Recently, he was given a suspended eight month sentence in March for incitement regarding the Temple Mount. The Islamic Movement itself, which is actually banned in several Muslim states, was involved in the violent "Nakba Day" protests opposing Israel's existence earlier this year.