Gaza:An Israeli court has sentenced the head of the northern branch of the Palestinian Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, to 28 months in prison on trumped-up charges of “fomenting incitement against Israelis and advocating violence.”
On Monday, the Haifa magistrate’s court passed the verdict against the 61-year-old cleric.
Israeli judge Shlomo Banjo said in his verdict statement that Salah is “dangerous.”
“In light of Sheikh Raed Salah’s previous violations and his clear ideological motives, his activities have worsened with time,” Banjo said, adding, “Today, as in the past, he uses troubling speech to incite terrorism.”
Sheikh Salah, in return, dismissed the charges, and said following his sentencing that all the proceedings in the case were “far from the truth.”
His defense team announced in a statement that “since 2017, restrictions have been imposed on the Sheikh by preventing him from communicating with the public and the media because the occupation is fully aware that every word that comes out of it has significant implications and impact.”
Sheikh Salah was arrested and charged two years ago for praising three Palestinians who shot dead two Israeli police officers in a gun battle at the entrance to al-Aqsa Mosque on July 14, 2017.
He had been released from prison in 2017 after serving a nine-month sentence for “inciting violence.”
The prominent Palestinian cleric has repeatedly expressed support for “resistance” and warned his followers that the Israel regime is seeking to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque.