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
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