Last month, an Israeli court sentenced the jihadist leader Raed Salah to 28 months in prison for his role in inciting the 2017 terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, in which his followers murdered two Druze police officers. Born in 1954, Salah—whose father and two brothers served in the Israeli police—was part of a wave of Arabs who were drawn into the Muslim Brotherhood, and has himself done as much as anyone to promote its ideology among his fellow Arab citizens of the Jewish state. Shaul Bartal explains:
After the Six-Day War, young Israeli Arab Muslims were able to attend religious institutions in the West Bank that were under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood. Salah . . . became part of the original nucleus of the Islamist cell at Hebron College (now Hebron University), which eventually turned pro-Hamas. Another member of that cell was Salah al-Aruri, the founder of Hamas’s military wing and now deputy head of its political bureau.
Salah was arrested for the first time in 1981 for joining [an] organization set up by Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish [that later became] the Islamic Movement in Israel. [In the 1990s] he began to formulate his worldview, which holds that Muslims in Israel must detach completely from governmental institutions and that the Islamic Movement must not take part in elections to the Knesset. That stance led to a division of the Islamic Movement into the Southern Branch, headed by Sheikh Darwish, and the more radical Northern Branch, led by Salah.
Salah’s speeches are laced with anti-Semitism, and for that reason he was barred from entering Britain in 2012, although he was granted entry after an appeal. His message contains several consistent themes: the Jews aim to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslims are duty-bound to defend it by any means necessary; the struggle between Jews and Muslims is an eternal one that appears in the Quran; the Palestinian nakba is comparable to the Holocaust; and “martyrs” [i.e. those who die committing terrorist attacks], are praiseworthy and will only multiply on the path of jihad until victory.
Salah later founded the Murabitun and Murabitat, two groups responsible for constant agitation and harassment of Jews on the Temple Mount, and his organization maintains close and friendly ties with Hamas.