An indictment was submitted on Thursday at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court against Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi for incitement to violence and racism, after the Palestinian Authority (PA) sanctioned sheikh was caught on film repeatedly preaching anti-Semitic screed at the Temple Mount.
The indictment was submitted under the approval of State Attorney Yehuda Weinstein given the serious nature of the crimes of incitement and the potential claims of freedom of speech that are likely to arise in the case.
In his various anti-Semitic rants, the sheikh claimed Jews created disease, that Jews control the world's wealth, and likewise spouted blood libels and accused Jews of paganism and devil worship, while promising to murder all Jews saying "they won't be able to escape us."
Al-Mughrabi was charged with fomenting racist and religious hatred against Jews so as to spur attacks against them in his bi-weekly sermons, which Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed were approved by the PA. The attorney's office has requested his arrest to be extended until the end of legal proceedings.
"We of course welcome the indictment, but it comes after a great delay," remarked the Honenu legal aid organization, which issued the complaint against al-Mughrabi based on translated film of his sermons exposed by PMW.
As noted by Honenu, the sheikh was arrested and questioned in August, and then banned from the Temple Mount for a month. But after being released and allowed to return, he continued his anti-Semitic incitement right where he left off.
Honenu noted the continued incitement "likely directly led to the recent terror attacks."
As recently as late October, PMW revealed al-Mughrabi said in a Temple Mount sermon: "Allah can annihilate all the Jews down to the last one, throughout the world. But, what does Allah want? He wants us to fulfill His command."
He also called out for Ribat, namely religious war for sites claimed by Islam, saying, "the most important thing I can do to fulfill Allah's command when I am in the Al-Aqsa Mosque is Ribat...let's compare the privileges that are bestowed upon the Ribat fighter to the privileges of the martyr: 'The Ribat fighter marries 70 of the Dark-Eyed (i.e., virgins).' The martyr gets two of the Dark-Eyed, while the Ribat fighter gets 70. 35 times more than the martyr. 'He marries 70 of the Dark-Eyed, and can advocate on Judgement Day on behalf of anyone he wants.'"
In another lesson at the end of October, he told his followers not to "get too excited" and murder a Jew inside Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount - not because he was against such murder, but because it might cause an Israeli reaction.
"If we, in any way, become too excited, and kill a Jew inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Children of Israel will use this as an excuse for Allah: 'In thisplace one of our people was killed, and we will build a memorial for him.' What will this memorial be? The Temple. However, praise Allah, everyone is aware of this matter, and this situation will not arise, and all the riots are taking place outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, not inside it," he said.