Following Tuesday's ruling of the Ramla Magistrate's Court convicting the Imam of Lod, Sheikh Yussuf Al-Baz of issuing threats and making attacks, the Sheikh is now facing further investigation with regard to incitement to violence.
Attorney Alon Altman, the Acting Deputy State Attorney, ordered the police to open an investigation against Al-Baz following a complaint submitted by the head of the Otzma Yehudit party, MK Itamar Ben Gvir.
Factoring in the decision to open the investigation was a video in which Al-Baz stated that, "Repeated attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque will ignite an intifada that will burn everything." The words were taken from a speech delivered by Al-Baz last July, and were posted as a Facebook video by the Al Omri Mosque in Lod.
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Attorney Altman stated that no incitement to racism was found but rather criticism of the Israeli government. However, the Deputy State Attorney added that, "In view of the wide circulation the video received and the circumstances in which the statements were said, the speech raised a reasonable suspicion of incitement to violence, and therefore I have instructed the Israel Police to investigate Al-Baz." Attorney Altman also noted that additional statements by Al-Baz have also been forwarded for further investigation by the police.
Responding to the decision, MK Ben Gvir stated: "I am glad that he was convicted following my complaint, but the system is operating too slowly and too belatedly. Sheikh Al-Baz should be behind bars."