Radical Muslim leader Sheikh Raed Salah was released from prison yesterday after serving a five-month term for assaulting a policeman.

In Umm al-Fahm, hundreds of supporters greeted Salah, who heads the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

He told the press the experience had strengthened in his faith in the need to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said he had spent his time behind bars praying, writing and studying.

Salah called on the Arab League and Muslims everywhere to take the initiative because "afterward we will mourn over Jerusalem the way they mourn today over Andalusia."

Salah also called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cease security cooperation with Israel.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court had sentenced Salah to nine months in prison, but the District Court reduced the sentence on appeal.