Sheikh Salah charged with incitement

Islamic leader had said Jews eat "bread dipped in children's blood," and called for third intifada.

raed salah 248.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
raed salah 248.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Monday filed an indictment against Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, charging him with incitement to violence and racism in a speech he made last year protesting the archeological dig carried out at the Old City's Mughrabi Gate. During his sermon in Jerusalem's Wadi Joz neighborhood on February 16 of last year, Salah urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to "save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation." Salah's speech also attacked Jews, saying, "They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks. Our blood has passed from one 'general terrorist' to another 'general terrorist.'" He also said, "We are not those who ate bread dipped in children's blood." The head of Salah's team of lawyers, Khaled Zbarke, expressed outrage over the indictment and claimed that it had no basis in Israeli law. "This is a political indictment," he said. "All of the judicial means employed so far against Sheikh Raed Salah take advantage of the law for the political gain of keeping Salah away from Jerusalem and the walls of al-Aksa Mosque." Salah's words do not constitute incitement to violence, Zbarke said, and proceeded to blame the "Israeli establishment" of perpetrating "criminal acts against al-Aksa Mosque." "This indictment will not deter us, and we will continue to safeguard the path of Allah's messenger [Muhammad]... even if it is anathema to the occupying Israeli establishment," a spokesman for the Islamic Movement said. The Islamic Movement would withstand the indictment and "emerge victorious together with al-Aksa Mosque," he said.