Imam From Nazareth Suspected of Supporting Terror Groups

Police arrest Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim, head of famous Nazareth mosque; court issues gag order on details of investigation.

Shin Bet forces arrested two Israeli Arabs, residents of Nazareth, on suspicion of supporting terror groups, illegal unionizing, and plotting to commit crimes, according to information released on Wednesday.

The two men, Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim and Mohammed Naarani, will be tried in the Nazareth Magistrate's court, which issued a gag order on the details of the investigation.

Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim is a familiar figure in Nazareth who stands at the head of the Shihab al-Din mosque. The mosque has been dubbed the 'disputed mosque' following lengthy debate between the government and Muslims regarding its construction.

Impromptu Shihab al-Din mosque in Nazareth, with Church of the Annuciation in background.Yaron Kaminsky

In 2009, Abu Salim was responsible for hanging a banner protesting the Pope's visit, reading "he is not welcome here," due to the Pope's 2006 speech in which he quoted a medieval text depicting the Prophet Mohammad as violent.