Israeli police arrest prominent Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah

Shaykh Raed Salah [Image: Ynet News]

Israeli police have detained the leader of the northern branch of the banned Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, on Tuesday morning.

According to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, Salah has been transferred for interrogation “over suspicions of his involvement and support of an illegal and banned union.”

While Ms al-Samri did not mention Salah by name, Israeli news website Ynet confirmed his identity.

Ynet reported that a large police force arrived at the Mahajina neighbourhood of the Umm al-Fahm village in northern Israel and arrested Salah, after a joint investigation between Shin bet and the police, which was launched by Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

Ms Al-Samri stated that Salah is accused of “inciting violence and terrorism, as well as affiliation with and support of an illegal and banned union.”

She said: “According to available information, the suspect delivered inciting speeches before crowds and a number of his quotes were disseminated on different media outlets.”

The Ynet report also stated that a magistrate court in Rishon Lezion in central Israel extended Salah’s remand by three days for pending further investigations.

Salah was released in January this year after nine months imprisonment.

He turned himself in to Israeli authorities last May to serve a nine-month sentence for “inciting violence and terrorism” in a speech he delivered in occupied Jerusalem in 2006.

During his incarceration, Salah was interrogated numerous times, and also began a hunger strike in protest of being mistreated and kept in solitary confinement.

Prisoners solidarity network, “Samidoun” also confirmed that Salah was refused access to books given to him by visiting family members.

The northern branch of Islamic Movement led by Salah has been an ardent critic of Israeli aggression at the Masjid Al-Aqsa compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

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