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(photo credit: Associated Press)
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday vetoed a decision by an advertising agency charged with conducting a campaign against road accidents to include Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, in its campaign.
Mofaz instructed his office to sever all ties with the cleric following reports earlier Wednesday that Salah's broad influence amongst the Israeli Arab public would be used in the effort to curb traffic accidents.
"Salah has a long record, which includes a conviction and a 42-month sentence served for ties with Hamas," the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel wrote in a statement sent Wednesday to Mofaz and Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz. "[He] is known for his shady approach to the law and his revilement of the state to the point of inciting violence against civilians, police and IDF soldiers."
The statement also pointed out that the State Attorney's Office was currently hashing over an indictment of Salah for a "violent and intimidating" campaign he recently led against the planned construction of a bridge to the Mughrabi Gate in Jerusalem's Old City.
During a sermon he delivered outside the Mount's Mughrabi Gate in February, the cleric had called for a third intifada to "save the Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation."
"If the government includes a criminal in a public campaign...does that not...essentially mean that the right hand will be inciting and calling for action against the state and its security forces while the left will be involved in road safety education under the auspices of that selfsame state?"
Recently, Salah praised Israeli Arab Ahmed Mahmoud el-Khatib, who was killed in the Old City after snatching a gun from a security guard, calling him a "shahid," or martyr.
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