Sheikh Elbaz
Sheikh ElbazFlash90

A Ramla judge noted in her sentence against Sheikh Yusef Elbaz of Lod that he had contributed over the years to coexistence between Jews and Arabs.

The verdict states ‘No one disputes that he contributed over the years to coexistence of Jews and Arabs in Lod, including during Operation Guardian of the Walls, when he did so at the request of the police and security forces.”

Journalist Ellhanan Gruner commented: “How can he be considered to have contributed to coexistence while calling the state an enemy and declaring that he hopes to bring the death of the Zionist oppressor?”

Elbaz was sentenced to 8 months in prison and 6 months on a suspended sentence after being convicted of incitement to violence.

Elbaz serves as Imam of the largest mosque in Lod. He was convicted last November of incitement to violence on two occasions. The convictions were based on Facebook posts and a sermon given to the mosque congregation.

His post stated: “The youth, the brave, those who fortify themselves, the people of freedom, the people of solitude. This is the honor roll of jihad, which has trampled the Israeli oppressor and prevented the division of the al-Aqsa mosque with their blood. May God bless you, bless your jihad, and your health.”

He was accused of threats and incitement to violence in connection with other posts but was exonerated due to them not being proven to contain threatening or inciting content.