A Haifa court on Monday rejected an appeal by Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, the radical leader of the banned Northern Islamic Movement, to be allowed to be released until a decision is made in the latest incitement case against him. Salah was arrested in August, charged with inciting to terror, and has been in custody since. With the rejection of the appeal, he will remain in jail until the end of proceedings against him.
The court said that while it did not believe Salah was a flight risk, he was an incitement risk. “Salah has repeated his horrible comments time after time, aggravating an already tense situation. As such, he is a danger to the public peace,” the court said in its decision, adding that given Salah’s history, there is no place for leniency.
Salah was arrested in August because of incendiary speeches he had made, accusing Israel of “taking over Har HaBayis.” Among the instances of incitement was a speech he gave at the funerals of the three murderers of Israeli police officers Ha’il Satawi and Kamil Shanan, who were killed in the Har HaBayis terror attack in July. The terrorists were given a mass funeral in Umm el-Faham, where they lived, replete with anti-Israel slogans, Palestinian flags, and speeches inciting Arabs to commit more acts of terror, many of which were presented by Salah, police said.
Salah has been arrested numerous times in the past for incitement, and has served time in prison. Last month, during the height of the Arab riots over security measures at Har HaBayis, top officials including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Housing Minister Yoav Galant demanded that Salah be arrested, but were told by Justice Ministry officials that there was no legal basis to detain Salah.
Commenting on Salah’s arrest, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that “there were very good reasons why I led the effort to make the Northern Islamic Movement an illegal group. Salah has time and again made speeches that encourage violence and murder, and thus is a danger to the public. I hope that this time he will be sent to prison for an extended period.”