Hundreds of supporters and members of the Islamic Movement turned out last night to welcome Sheikh Raed Salah upon his return to his homeland. He was met at Al Lod ("Ben Gurion") airport by the head of the Higher Arab Follow-up Committee, Mr Muhammad Zaidan; the Mayor of Umm El-Fahm, Sheikh Khalid Hamdan; Knesset members Talab Al Sana and Jamal Zalhalka; and many other dignitaries.
Speaking to the local media immediately after his arrival, Sheikh Raed said that he had travelled to Britain bearing the anguish of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian people but was subject to an onslaught by the pro-Israel lobby who wanted him to be detained and expelled from the country. "They couldn't bear to allow the truth to be heard by the people of Britain," he added. "But I entered the UK by my own free will and I decided I would only leave by my free will, and that did happen eventually with a blessed victory from Allah."
Sheikh Raed condemned a decision by the Israeli authorities to serve him with a military order not to visit Jerusalem for one month as soon as he had cleared immigration control.