The head of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, Knesset Member Mohammed Barakah, criticised the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court ruling on Tuesday against Sheikh Raed Salah, saying that the ruling is unfair and reveals Israel’s racist and oppressive policies.
Barakah noted that Israel aims to criminalise the Arabs of Israel and deny them of their legitimate right to express their political ideologies, instead seeking to intimidate them to thwart their struggle against Israel’s systemic policy of discrimination.
He warned that Israel has recently stepped up its prosecution campaign against Arab leaders and political activists, including Sheikh Salah, who had previously faced a series of trials and languished in prison for several years.
“The Jerusalem Magistrate’s court ruling against Sheikh Salah is another episode of a long series of Israeli prosecutions. Salah is punished for a speech he gave to express his legitimate political position against Israel and its crimes in occupied Jerusalem, especially against Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings,” Barakah explained.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s court sentenced Sheikh Salah, who is a former mayor and the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, to eight months imprisonment and three years probation, after finding him guilty of “inciting violence”.