Leader of Islamic Movement Returns to Israel After U.K. Legal Battle

Upon arriving in Israel, Sheikh Ra'ad Salah is briefly detained by security officials, but released shortly after.

Islamic activist Sheikh Ra'ad Salah returned to Israel on Monday after spending ten months in Britain, where he was engaged in a lengthy legal battle with the British Home Office and immigration authorities.

The Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) leader returned to Israel like any other regular citizen after leaving British territory a free man rather than under a deportation order. This was possible after Salah won an appeal against the decision by British Home Secretary Theresa May to deport him under a claim he posed a threat to the public.

Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Ra'ad Salah
Tess Scheflan

Upon arriving in Israel, Salah was briefly detained by security officials, but was released shortly after.

Last week, Britain's Upper Immigration Tribunal upheld Salah's appeal and ruled that the decision to arrest him and to carry out a deportation order against him was improper and unnecessary.

Judge Mark Ockelton said May was deceived by clerks in her office when making the majority of her decisions on Salah, especially that which determined he was a danger to the public.

Britain's Home Office has said it is "disappointed" with the tribunal's decision and, if possible, would appeal.

Salah flew to Britain in June, despite an order from May that banned his entry over his political activities. Salah's legal team claimed he had not been aware of the ban, had entered the country with a passport issued in his name, and had made "no attempt" to conceal his identity.

Three days after his June 25 arrival in the United Kingdom, Salah was detained for three weeks. He was later released on bail and sought damages for unlawful detention. The High Court ruled that since Salah was not given "proper and sufficient reasons" for his arrest until the third day of his detention, he should receive damages for that period.