Raed Salah cancels Friday al-Aksa visit

Islamic Movement leader frequently tells followers "Al-Aksa is in danger."

Facing a possible police veto, Sheikh Raed Salah, the firebrand leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel will not visit the Temple Mount on Friday, but will do so at a future date of his own choosing, a group spokesman said Thursday. 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 had barred him from entering Jerusalem until Thursday, the spokesman said, with Israeli security officials reporting earlier this week that the fiery leader had plans to come to the Temple Mount to pray at the al-Aksa mosque on Friday. But Islamic Movement spokesman Zahie Nujeidat said Thursday that the Islamic Movement leader was "preoccupied," and had no plans to visit the Jerusalem holy site on Friday, but would instead come at his own convenience. He added that earlier reports suggesting that the visit would go ahead this week were "Israeli misinformation." Salah, who heads the extremist northern branch of the Islamic Movement of Israeli Arabs, which denies Israel's very 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. 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.