Israel Police Arrests Islamic Movement Leader Over Incitement Charges

Head of movement's northern chapter said Jerusalem clashes wouldn't end until Israel's 'occupation' is lifted.

Leader of the Islamic Movement's northern chapter, Ra'ad Salah, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion that he had incited to violence and incited riots in light of remarks he had made recently.

The arrest came against the backdrop of heightened tension in Jerusalem's Old City and particularly at the holy site of Temple Mount, where Palestinians clashed with Israeli police officers over the course of several days.

On Monday, Salah told Haaretz that the clashes would last as long as Israel's "occupation" of the city and Al-Aqsa Mosque continued. He said the Israeli government must understand that using force does not grant it rights to Al-Aqsa Mosque or anywhere else in East Jerusalem, and that the key to achieving calm in the area is an Israeli "withdrawal."

"No one has rights to the Al-Aqsa Mosque other than the Muslims. The mosque compound is Muslim, Palestinian and Arab, and Israel has no rights to the mosque or East Jerusalem," he said.

Salah has been prohibited from entering the Temple Mount area for several months, and has been staying at a nearby residence while following developments. The Islamic Movement leader reiterated his call for Arabs within Israel's Green Line and in Jerusalem to protest beside the mount to "protect Al-Aqsa from the infiltration of extremist Jewish elements."

Following his arrest, the police issued a statement saying that it will continue to work tirelessly to preserve the freedom to practice any religion, and that it was operating on the basis of equality and maintaining the law and preventing extremists from harming Jerusalem's daily life.