Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed SalahAvi Dishi/Flash 90

A delegation of the Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs, headed by committee chairman Mohammad Barakeh and Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement, arrived at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday.

Speaking during the visit, Salah said that "the Al-Aqsa Mosque is an Islamic, Arab and Palestinian right and it is not subject to partnership or bargaining or sale or distribution."

Salah stressed that "the Israeli presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a presence of occupation, and therefore it is null and void. The occupation uses the language of force, but the world must know that the language of force cannot make the lie true."

He continued, "Every time the occupation breaks into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to guard a number of settlers, it sends a message that it is an occupation, whereas with us, when an 80-year-old Palestinian woman enters the Al-Aqsa Mosque she does so without security and with an upright head, because she sees it as her full right."

"We are facing a clear conflict between our eternal right in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the claims of the Israeli occupation, and therefore we demand that there be a permanent presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque to emphasize our eternal right," stated Salah.

He sent a message to the Ra’am party led by MK Mansour Abbas and said, "Everyone knows my negative attitude towards the Knesset and I demand that Ra’am to announce its immediate resignation from the government."

Salah was jailed for incitement to terrorism and served a 16-month prison sentence before being released in December.

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, which Salah heads, in November of 2015.