The head of a radical Islamic group in northern Israel was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of incitement following a speech he gave in Kafr Qara.
Sheikh Raed Salah, who heads the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and is a former mayor of Umm al-Fahm, was quoted as saying Israel was “working to destroy Egypt and the Arab world” and that it was responsible for a fire at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque 45 years ago set by a tourist.
The charge is the latest brought against Salah, who has a long history of run-ins with the law over accusations of inciting racism and violence.
He was charged but not convicted for making anti-Semitic statements in 2007 after he allegedly accused Jews of using children’s blood to make bread. Salah denied these allegations and rebuffed claims that he was anti-Semitic.
Salah’s other exploits include inciting rioters on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2009, participating in the so-called Gaza Freedom Flotilla convoy in 2010 and calling to end Israeli rule in the capital in 2011.
In 2012, he was deported from Britain during a tour.
He served a two-year jail sentence between 2003 and 2005 for having contact with an Iranian intelligence agent and funding Hamas, and was imprisoned again in 2010 for five months on charges of leading a violent demonstration and assaulting a police officer.