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Israel Orders Radical Islamic Preacher to Prison for Inciting Violence

  • VOA News

FILE - Palestinians in Gaza City carry pictures of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, during a protest to condemn what protesters claim was a desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists, Sept. 4, 2013.

FILE - Palestinians in Gaza City carry pictures of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, during a protest to condemn what protesters claim was a desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists, Sept. 4, 2013.

Israel has sentenced a radical Islamic preacher to nearly a year in prison for inciting Palestinians to riot at the East Jerusalem holy site at the center of recent violence.

Sheikh Raed Salah, who heads a branch of the group Islamic Movement, was ordered Tuesday to report to prison November 15 to start serving 11 months behind bars. His attorney promised to appeal the sentence to the Israeli High Court.

Salah called Israeli authorities "occupation gangsters" who were trying to deny Palestinians the right to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque. He said a Jordanian plan, endorsed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, to install cameras to monitor the site belonged in the garbage can.

Salah was convicted in March for a 2007 speech in which he called for a Palestinian uprising over rules governing the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the holy site Jews revere as the Temple Mount.

Even though Salah made the remarks eight years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said incitement to violence would not be tolerated. He has proposed outlawing Salah's Islamic Movement branch.

More than a month of Palestinian violence has killed 11 Israelis and 58 Palestinians. Israel said that more than half of the Palestinians were killed while attacking or attempting to shoot or stab Israeli civilians, police or soldiers.

A U.S.-born Israeli man wounded in a Palestinian bus attack two weeks ago died Tuesday, and two Palestinians who stabbed an Israeli soldier in the West Bank were gunned down by other troops.

Israel denies Palestinian rumors that it plans to take over the al-Aqsa Mosque. But Palestinians are also fed up with Jewish settlements in lands they want for a future state, the dim outlook for peace, and a lack of leadership and economic opportunities.

Israel says it has every right to defend itself and that there can be no peace until the Palestinians recognize its right to exist.

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