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Israel extends solitary confinement of Sheikh Raed Salah

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Shaikh Raed Salah [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Israel’s Central Court in Beersheba yesterday extended the solitary confinement of the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, for six months, his lawyer Khaled Zabarqa said.

Israel’s prison service filed an application demanding the extension of Sheikh Salah’s solitary confinement for another six months on Monday.

The ruling means Salah will spend one year in solitary confinement, subject to him being released at the end of the new term.

Zabarqa stressed that “there is no real justification to extend Sheikh Salah isolation” and described the decision as “arbitrary and political revenge” because of his positions with regards to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He said his team will see if they can appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.

Arab Member of the Knesset Talab Abu Arar, of the Joint List, condemned the Israeli court’s ruling and said: “The decision to extend the solitary confinement of Sheikh Salah and his arrest in the first place is political persecution of the leaders of our Arab society.”

Read: Israel refuses Sheikh Raed Salah’s appeal

Sheikh Salah was arrested from his house on 25 August 2017 and was indicted nine days later by the Israeli Public Prosecution. He was accused of violating the law and inciting terror.

An Israeli court in Haifa decided that he remain in prison until the end of the judicial measures against him. His defence team appealed against the ruling, but the appeal was turned down by the court.

He had previously been released after spending nine months in Israeli jails on 17 January 2016. His release was subject to restrictions on his movement, including travel bans and a ban on entering Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli government banned the Islamic Movement in November 2015 under the pretext that it engaged in provocative activities against Israel.

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