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Israel: Raed Salah can be released, placed under house arrest

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah (C) appears in court after he was taken into custody in Haifa, Israel on 28 March 2018 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli court has ruled that Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, can be released from prison and put under house arrest.

The Haifa Magistrates' Court issued the ruling yesterday seven months after Salah was arrested and held on charges of "incitement to terror".

According to the terms of his release, Salah will wear an electronic tag, be prohibited from using the internet or mobile phones, be banned from holding public meetings or giving speeches and has had a travel ban imposed on him.

The mayor of Umm Al-Fahm, Salah has been arrested on numerous occasions as a result of his activism against Israeli efforts to Judaise Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Read: Israel court delays approval of conditional release of Raed Salah

Charges levied against him include that of "incitement", channelling funds to Hamas and criticising Israeli policy on his Facebook account.

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 after he referred to three Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces "martyrs".

Israel then accused him of inciting violence during the wave of protests against the authorities' placement of metal detectors at the gates of the compound and their restriction of the vast majority of worshippers from entering.

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

Though the Haifa District Court's decision was made yesterday, its will only be implemented once an appeal is heard today.

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