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Raed Salah in Rahat: Israeli land belongs to Muslims

December 26, 2010 10:43

Head of Islamic Movement’s northern branch says land is occupied Muslim, Arab and Palestinian territory, calls on Beduins to fight for land.

Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah 311. (photo credit:Ben Hartman)

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, said over the weekend that Israeli land is occupied Muslim, Arab and Palestinian territory, Israel Radio reported Sunday.

During a visit to Rahat, Salah called on Beduins to fight for the Muslim land, saying "we have no intention of leaving our land or even starting negotiations about the issue."

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Salah visited the site of a mosque that was built in Rahat without a permit and destroyed by Israel Lands Authority officials after courts ruled the structure to be in breach of the law.

In November, hundreds of Israel Police officers, backed by border policemen, protected the officials as they took down the 400- square meter structure, which was built over seven months ago in the parking lot of a soccer stadium to mark Land Day, an annual day of rallies held by Israeli Arabs to protest what they say is government seizure of their lands.

A small team entered the building before it was demolished to remove all sacred items from it with care, police said.

Rioters threw rocks at police during the clearance, resulting in five arrests, Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The mosque has been described by courts as a direct provocation toward Israeli sovereignty due to its manner of construction and location.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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