'Why are prosecutors letting pro-terror imam off so easy?'

Watchdog group blasts 'watered-down indictment' against pro-terror imam from central Israeli city targeted by Arab rioters.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Sheikh Youssef Elbaz
Sheikh Youssef Elbaz
צילום: רשת 13

An Israeli watchdog organization blasted the State Attorney's office Thursday over what it called "watered-down" charges against a radical imam from central Israel who is affiliated with the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

Responding to the indictment filed earlier Thursday by the State’s Attorney against Sheikh Youssef Elbaz of Lod, the Zionist watchdog group Regavim criticized the limited scope of the charges brought against the Imam of Lod’s central mosque: “The indictment on only two counts does not reflect Elbaz’s frequent, ongoing and extremely public incitement and hate speech.”

Regavim’s Legal Department submitted a very detailed complaint to the police in late May, including Elbaz’s Facebook posts over the course of the past year that include threats, incitement, encouragement and praise of violence, and more. Attorney Boaz Arzi, who filed the police complaint on behalf of Regavim, sent a formal request to the State’s Attorney (Central Region) this afternoon, demanding correction of the indictment.

The original indictment, filed by “The Cyber Unit at the Office of the State Attorney” charges that last month, Elbaz posted a clip of a movie on his Facebook page showing the murder of two police officers, with the caption, “The best way to deal with injustice.” The second charge focuses on threats against the Deputy Mayor of Lod, Yossi Harush, contained in another video clip posted by Elbaz.

Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim: “The watered-down indictment is a display of prosecutorial negligence. It doesn’t take a specialized cyber unit to find explicit incitement to commit acts of violence, treasonous statements, or declarations by Elbaz that he is a proud member of the Northern Branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed organization, on Elbaz’s Facebook page. Elbaz all but admits to being a member of a terrorist organization. After years of incessant incitement by Elbaz, is this all the State’s Attorney’s special Cyber Unit could come up with?”