Sheikh Al-Baz
Sheikh Al-Baz צילום: רשת 13

The attorney who is representing Sheikh Yussuf Al-Baz, the imam of the Lod mosque who was arrested on Thursday and charged with incitement to violence, has denied that Al-Baz has any links to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Attorney Halad Azbraga told Reshet Bet on Friday that his client does not support Hamas, and that he is "shocked at the suggestion."

"The police have not accused my client of supporting terrorism, nor have they suggested that he has incited to terrorist attacks," Azbraga claimed.

Al-Baz's attorney also insisted that his client is not primarily being investigated for alleged incitement, but rather, that "Police are focusing on other things - they're not paying a great deal of attention to the video."

The video concerned was posted by Al-Baz on his Facebook page, and shows a presumably Arab citizen setting fire to a squad car in which are sitting two presumably Jewish-Israeli police officers, killing them, with a caption by Al-Baz stating: "This is the way to deal with injustice." Due to the graphic and brutal nature of the video, it is not being shown here.

Nonetheless, Al-Baz's attorney insisted that "the video contains no specific message for the general public, and no message calling for harm to be done to police officers. Just like everyone else does, my client saw something he wanted to draw attention to, and so he posted it. Not everything has a motive," he said.

Azbraga added that Al-Baz may be "a religious figure, but the 'street' is influenced by many factors, not solely by one factor alone."

Al-Baz was arrested following a submission to the State Prosecution by MK Itamar Ben Gvir, who became aware of the Facebook post. Ben Gvir himself has been the subject of another social media attack suggesting that "his fate will be like that of Yehuda Glick," who was shot by an Arab terrorist (and miraculously survived the attack).