Court fines Arab-Israeli cleric for obstructing police
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Court fines Arab-Israeli cleric for obstructing police

Sheikh Raed Salah penalized NIS 9,000, given 2-year probation for 'interrupting' interrogation of his wife at border crossing with Jordan in 2011

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the radical wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, pictured outside Ramla prison near Tel Aviv in 2010. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)
Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the radical wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, pictured outside Ramla prison near Tel Aviv in 2010. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

An Israeli court on Monday fined firebrand Islamic cleric Sheikh Raed Salah for obstructing the work of police when they quizzed his wife three years ago, legal documents showed.

Last month, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled that Salah, an Arab citizen of Israel, had “interrupted” police officers as they questioned his wife at the Allenby border crossing between the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Jordan in April 2011.

On Monday, the court slapped him with a fine of 9,000 shekels ($2,600, €1,826 euros) and a two-year probation, the decision read.

The judge said the fine was relatively high for such an offense, partly due to Salah’s refusal to express contrition for his actions.

The incident occurred after Salah himself was questioned on his way back from Jordan. But when a female officer wanted to search his wife, he began yelling and had to be restrained by police, although he broke free and tried to force his way into the room where his wife was.

Salah, leader of the radical northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, is no stranger to run-ins with the authorities. In March, he was sentenced to eight months prison for incitement to violence over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque. In 2010, he spent five months behind bars for spitting at an Israeli policeman.

The Islamic Movement is tolerated in Israel but is under constant surveillance because of its perceived links with the militant Hamas movement that controls the Gaza Strip, as well as with other Muslim groups worldwide.

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