The Israeli Supreme Court has sentenced Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, to nine months in prison over charges of “inciting violence” in a religious sermon dating back to 2007, Anadolu reported on Monday.
The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem sentenced Sheikh Salah to 11 months in prison, giving him permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which reduced the sentence to nine months.
Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which was banned in November last year, Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib condemned the ruling against Sheikh Salah, describing it as “absolutely political” and aimed at keeping him far from Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
On 16 February 2007, Salah delivered a sermon in Wadi al-Juz in the Old City of Jerusalem. Over remarks in that sermon, the Israeli court charged him with “inciting violence” and “inciting hatred”.
In March 2014, the Magistrate Court charged Sheikh Salah with “inciting violence” over this sermon, but acquitted him of “inciting hatred” and sentenced him to eight months.
Then, the District Court called for charging him with “inciting hatred” and to sentence him to 18 to 40 months. In October 2015, it sentenced him to 11 months, giving him the permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.