Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was acquitted Tuesday by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court in connection with rioting in Jerusalem's Old City.
Salah said that he believed his acquittal to be the obvious outcome of
his case. "The trial described the truth. The police should be blamed,
and if true justice is sought, all of the four remaining cases against me
should be closed," he said.
Salah was charged of assaulting a policeman during the February 2007 riot. The incident took place near the Dung Gate, when Salah and four other Israeli
Arabs were protesting Israeli archaeological
excavations that were being conducted next to the Mughrabi Gate.
According to the indictment, Salah waved a Syrian flag, spat in the face of a Border Police
officer and yelled, "You are racists and murderers! You have no
respect!" Salah and his cohorts also allegedly attempted to force their way into
the excavation site.
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lawyers presented evidence which proved that the police officers'
testimonies were contradictory. They submitted footage taken during the
protest, which the judges decided "could prove inaccuracies in the
The footage depicted the policeman arriving during
Salah's speech, and included witnesses who
approached the flag wavers and spoke to them.The men holding the Syrian and PLO flags put them down after the confrontation. The police then asked the PLO flag-holder to hand it over, and a fight ensued.
Shimon Fineberg ruled that the prosecution was unable to prove Salah's
involvement in an illegal gathering, and acquitted him of that charge