Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri signed an order preventing Raed Salah, the head of the Northern Islamic Movement, from leaving the country. Salah was convicted in November of inciting riots and violence, and was sentenced to a year in prison. Currently, Salah is free while his attorneys prepare an appeal to the High Court against his sentence; the state is fighting in court to imprison him until that appeal takes place. With the order, Israeli border officials will be able to turn him away if he tries to leave the country.
Several other Islamist activists have also been banned from leaving the country, pending cases against them. The Ministry said that allowing these Islamists to leave the country “constituted a major security risk to Israel.”
Salah has been one of the main targets of Israel’s efforts to quash the current round of Arab terror. Salah was arrested ten days ago, accused of spreading rumors and inciting Arabs over the supposed Israeli “takeover” of Har Habayis.
As a result of that incitement, the state charged, Salah inspired dozens of Arabs to carry out terror attacks against Israel. The Movement, said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was one of the three “pillars,” along with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, of incitement against Jews and Israelis.
Salah, who has been arrested numerous times on similar charges, is accused of making speeches at mosques in northern Israel that prompted Arabs in Galil communities, such as Nazareth, to riot over the past several weeks. Salah’s assistant was recently prevented from leaving the country and was arrested, as well as an accessory.
Netanyahu said that in the coming days he would propose legislation to ban the Movement. The new law would make belonging to the organization a crime, with violators to be charged with supporting a terrorist organization. Attorneys for the Movement said they would appeal to the High Court even in advance of the passage of such a law.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called the Movement a chief perpetrator of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement. “The only thing that’s changed are Islamist hoodlums, paid by the Islamist Movement in Israel and by Hamas, who are entering the mosque and attacking Jewish and Christian visitors to the Temple Mount. That’s the only change in the status quo,” Netanyahu added. “Israel will protect the holy sites, will guard the status quo. Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount. Israel is the solution.”