Israeli Arab Muslim leader indicted

Source:ap.org Author:STEVE WEIZMAN Date:03/25/14 Click:

JERUSALEM - An Israeli court on Tuesday indicted an Israeli Muslim leader on charges of racism and incitement to violence over a 2007 speech in which he allegedly called for a new Palestinian uprising to stop Israeli renovation near a disputed holy site.

Sheik Raed Salah, leader of a radical branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, led violent protests against work adjacent to the hilltop, where the Al Aqsa Mosque compound was built over the ruins of the biblical Jewish temples.

At a rally in east Jerusalem last February, Salah's followers threw rocks and bottles at police, who responded with stun grenades.

A copy of the indictment obtained by The Associated Press quoted Salah, an Israeli citizen, as saying then that "the streets of Jerusalem will be cleansed from the blood of the innocents, killed by the Israeli soldiers who occupy the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque."

The charge sheet described the cleric's remarks as a "call to commit acts of violence and encouragement of acts of violence."

He was released on bail and no trial date was set.

In July 2005, Salah was freed from prison after serving two-thirds of a 39-month sentence for security offenses.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel's population of 7 million. Though they have equal rights as citizens, they have suffered from decades of discrimination in many aspects of society. In recent years, their leaders have become more radicalized in their identification with the Palestinian cause, angering many Jewish Israelis.

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