The police asked the Jerusalem District Court Thursday to sentence head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah to actual prison time, after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer.
The altercation Salah was convicted for took place in Jerusalem nearly three years ago. Police representative Attorney Amit Michals, asked the court to also add a probation sentence and a fine to whatever jail time the sheikh would be given.
Raed Salah was convicted of the crime some six weeks ago. The incident, which took place in February 2007, saw Salah, together with four other Israeli Arabs, riot against excavations conducted near Mugrabi Gate.
An altercation with local Border Guard officers soon erupted and Salah spit in the face of one of the officers, saying "you are racists and murderers, you have no respect."
During the sentencing hearing Michals argued that Salah was "no ordinary defendant" – as he is a religious leader – stressing that he had never expressed any remorse for his actions, and any remorse expressed at this point would be nothing more than lip service.
Given the fact that the act was ideologically motivated, he cannot be given a light sentence. Michals further added Temple Mount, where the incident took place, is known as an extremely volatile place.
The defense, however, claimed that the entire case was politically motivated and that the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court erred in rendering a guilty verdict, since it was "based on false evidence and police lies, meant to make a criminal out of the victim."
The verdict is expected to be read in mid January.