The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra'ad Salah said Thursday he would not appear before police for questioning over allegedly inciteful remarks he made last year because he fears that he will be attacked by rightist Jews.

In an announcement released by the movement, Salah and other activists said that they were taking the rightist rabbis' threats of revenge for the Mercaz Harav yeshiva terrorist attack very seriously.

In an interview with the A-shams radio station, Saleh said that he is not trying to dodge the interrogation: "I have been questioned in the past and I will continue to be questioned. I have also been behind bars. The information I received is from a reliable source and we have passed it on to the Jerusalem district police."

Police said that they had not received any information that would suggest an assassination attempt.

The police questioning concerns a sermon Salah gave in February last year in East Jerusalem. During his speech about the Israeli dig at the Mugrabi gate around the Dome of the Rock, Saleh said that "the time has come for an Arab-Muslim Intifadha for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Meanwhile, Hadash Chair Mohammed Barakeh said that the number of death threats he receives has risen drastically of late.

Barakeh's aides said that they have passed the threats on to Knesset security but do not feel that they have been properly addressed.