Radical Sheikh Raed Salah remains defiant, even after the Supreme Court this week denied his request to appeal his conviction for inciting violence.
The court, while rejecting Salah’s appeal, cut his prison sentence by two months to nine. Salah, who heads the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was convicted two years ago of inciting unrest at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2007.
But even after the rejection of his appeal, Salah boasted on Wednesday that the Israeli government would not be able to stop him.
Speaking to the Turkish Anadolu news agency, Salah claimed that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a disappointing ruling of “a country which thinks that it is possible to use legal means to bring an end to the activities to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is dreaming when he thinks that my arrest will bring an end to the presence of the Palestinian people inside Israel and in Jerusalem and end their activities to advance their cause,” he continued.
Salah, who will begin his prison term on May 8, has in the past labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva, and was also jailed for five months in 2010 for spitting at an Israeli police officer.
Even after being convicted of incitement, Salah has continued his rhetoric. In February he accused Israel of being "racist" and claimed it had adopted racist policies against Israeli Arabs.
As well, he recently held a sermon in which he called for “jihad” and promised the audience that “the Israeli occupation” will vanish just like the Roman and Persian empires and British and French colonialism.
The remarks were released in a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).