Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed SalahAvi Dishi/Flash 90

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, said on Thursday that the Ra’am party deviated from the basic principles agreed upon by the Arab public by joining the coalition.

In an interview with the Arabic-language Ashams Radio, Salah said that Ra’am joining the coalition had brought the Arab sector into a sad and painful situation.

"I still hope that Ra’am will re-examine what happened and return to the basis on which we agreed," Salah said.

He added that he intends to hold direct face-to-face talks with senior Ra’am officials over the coming days regarding the party’s political partnership in the coalition.

Salah noted that it is right to welcome Ra’am’s policy as long as it does not come at the expense of the basic Islamic, Arab and Palestinian principles.

Salah was released from an Israeli prison in December, after he was convicted of incitement to terrorism and served a 16-month prison sentence.

Salah has been arrested by Israel several times in the past on charges of incitement. The radical cleric served a nine-month jail sentence after being convicted of encouraging violent attacks and inciting racism in a 2007 sermon.

He 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.

The Israeli government outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in November of 2015.