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Sheikh Raed Salah
Photo: Haim Zach
Raed Salah reaffirms former statements
Arab-Israeli Islamic leader denies allegations of anti-Semitic incitement, repeats statements against 'occupying establishment' and says he is merely 'attempting to fulfill duty to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque'

"The occupying establishment that has ruined part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque has no right to speak about incitement," Sheikh Raed Salah told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper Saturday.

 

The leader of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel refused to recant statements he made Friday about Israeli excavations near the Temple Mount, which many sources labeled as inflammatory and anti-Semitic.

 

"The establishment began to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, when it knew the mosque's great importance in the heart of every Muslim, Arab and Palestinian, from a cultural, historical and religious point of view," Salah said.

 

"It insisted on carrying out the crime of destruction, meaning that it is inciting a religious war in the region. The first to pay the price for this will be the Jewish people. They should be ashamed of themselves," he added.

 

In his interview, Salah reacted to reports that his latest Friday sermon would be investigated under suspicion of incitement.

 

In this sermon, the Islamic leader claimed that Israelis "want to build their temple while our blood is on their clothes, on their doors, in their food and drinks. Our blood goes from one terrorist general to another terrorist general."

 

"Justice is on my side in everything concerning Al-Aqsa," Salah told the newspaper Saturday, in support of his sermon.

 

"I'm fulfilling my duty of protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque, without fear of accusations or incitement by people or organizations in the formal or public Israeli establishment."

 

Salah was of course referring to statements by Israeli politicians such as Knesset member Effie Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party) who called the Islamic leader "a ticking bomb".

 

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