By Nigel Wilson
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank- Palestinian leaders in Israel have denounced the arrest of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, as politically motivated and called for his immediate release.
Salah was arrested at his home in Umm Al Fahm, northern Israel, in the early hours of August 15 on charges of inciting violence and supporting a banned organisation. On Monday, an Israeli court extended his detention until August 24.
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“I am sure that this is a political arrest,” said Mohammed Barakeh, chairman of the Higher Committee for the Arab citizens of Israel. “This is a kind of anti-democratic act to put the Arab population in Israel under pressure.”
The arrest was widely publicised in Israel, and senior figures in the government quickly praised the move. Gilad Erdan, Israeli public security minister, said that Salah encouraged “extremism” and promoted violence and murder. The minister of communication, Ayoub Kara, said that Salah should be deported from Israel.
Source: Al Jazeera Online