Islamic Movement firebrand seeks to visit Temple Mount on Friday

Bracing for possible violence, Jerusalem police are weighing a planned Friday visit by the firebrand leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel to the Temple Mount, with a police decision on whether to authorize the visit expected in the middle of the week, police said Sunday. Sheikh Raed Salah was freed from prison in July after serving two years for a series of security offenses including financing Hamas activities, money laundering, membership in illegal organizations and holding contacts with hostile figures. The terms of Salah's release bar him from entering Jerusalem without police permission, traveling outside Israel, or affiliating with terror organizations or anyone associated with such groups. Salah, who heads the extremist northern branch of the Islamic Movement of Israeli Arabs, which denies Israel's legitimacy, has repeatedly warned supporters that "Al-Aksa is in danger," and that Israeli extremists intended to attack the mosque at the Jerusalem holy site. "I want to remind Sheikh Raed Salah that calm has been preserved on the Temple Mount... and that it should stay that way," Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra said Sunday. "It must be said that his slogan 'Al-Aksa is in danger' is not correct. It is based on a lie." The well-funded Islamic Movement has been underwriting major Wakf construction and renovation projects on the Temple Mount, as well as in mosques throughout Israel.