Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, is warning against what he calls Israel’s “escalating measures” against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Salah is currently serving a nine-month jail sentence in Israel after being convicted of encouraging violent attacks and inciting racism in a 2007 sermon.
In a message from his prison cell to the Arab Israeli public and to the Arab and Islamic nation, which was quoted by the Hamas-affiliated Palestine newspaper, Salah stressed that Muslims will continue to cling to the Al-Aqsa Mosque because of their eternal right to it.
He further said that UNESCO’s resolution denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount strengthens the Muslims’ “eternal right” to the complex.
He accused Israel of falsifying history and of striving to impose their “false” narrative on the Palestinian people, “as though no other nations existed before the Israeli people were in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The radical cleric has in the past labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva, and was also jailed for five months in 2010 for spitting at an Israeli police officer.
The Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which Salah heads, last year.