raed salah outside court 248.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )
Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was convicted in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Thursday of assaulting a policeman during a riot in the capital's Old City nearly two years ago.
The incident took place in February 2007, near the Dung Gate, when Salah and four other Israeli Arabs allegedly took part in riots in protest of Israeli archeological excavations that were being conducted next to the Mugrabi Gate.
According to the indictment, Salah spit in the face of a Border Guard officer and yelled, "You are racists and murderers! You have no respect!" Salah and his cohorts also attempted to force their way into the excavation site.
Judge Yitzhak Shimoni said that he had received "reliable testimony from the police, which was later verified by video footage from a nearby security camera." Shimoni also said footage that had been recorded by police cameras installed on the Temple Mount had backed up the allegations against Salah found in the indictment.
After the verdict was read, Salah's attorney, Khaled Azbarga, said, "Sheikh Salah accuses the Israeli government of committing crimes at the Aksa Mosque. In an attempt to cover these real crimes up, the court accuses Salah of other crimes."
Salah found himself in legal trouble recently as well, when police accused him of fomenting unrest in the Old City during Succot. Scores of rioters were arrested and a number of police officers were injured in disturbances that sprang up throughout east Jerusalem, including in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Salah, who was was arrested at the time, was found guilty of incitement and barred from the Old City for a limited period.
Sentencing for Salah's conviction in the 2007 case is expected on December 24.