The 21st Century Phenomenon



Raed  Salah was born in 1958 inUmm al-Fahem, one of the greatest villages of Israeli Arabs, overlooking Wadi Ara in Israel on the main road to Megido, to a family with strong ties to the Israeli establishment. His father was a police officer and so is one of his brothers.

Raed  Salah graduated, in the late 70s’, the religious Islamic college in Nablus, in the Palestinian West Bank, and joined the Islamic-Movement, than led by Sheikh Abdullah Nimer Darwish, soon after. Umm al-Fahem, Raed  Salah’s home town, became officially a city in 1985 and he was elected, in 1989, as the head of the Islamic-Movement, the second mayor of Umm al-Fahem.

The Oslo accords of 09/1993 caused a split in the Israeli Islamic Movement whereby the Northern branch, led by the charismatic Raed  Salah opposed the agreement, coherent to the Hamas position, and the Southern branch, led by Sheikh Abdullah Nimer Darwish supported the agreement and led a policy of reaching out to Israel. Nowadays (10/2009) there is a total rift between the two offshoots and Raed  Salah is the undisputed radical leader of the so called Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

In 2001 Raed  Salah was barred from leaving Israel because of his strong ties with other Islamic movements with a Jihadi ideology in the Middle East. In 05/2003 Raed  Salah was arrested by the Israeli police and sentenced to two years in jail for raising millions of dollars for Hamas in Jenin, Northern Samaria. Part of the money was used to finance terror attacks in Israel.

Since the breach of the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 10/2000 the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement adopted a very radical approach under the religious slogan “Al-Aqsa is in danger”..

The Northern branch of the Islamic movement is able to mobilize, in any given moment, dozens of thousands of Muslim youngsters to provoke unrest in Jerusalem whenever Sheikh Raed  Salah pleases so. Between 30 up to 60 thousand people take part n the annual meetings of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, since 2000, in Umm El Fahem each year under the slogan “Save al-Aqsa”.

Sheikh Raed  Salah, a father of eight, was several times stopped or detained for questioning by the Israeli police, generally after provoking yet another round of unrest in Jerusalem over the issue of al-Aqsa Mosque.

On 05/31/2010 Sheikh Raed  Salah was among over 700 so called “peace activists” on a humanitarian aid flotilla, organized by the Turkish IHH – , to Gaza Strip. When Israeli naval commando boarded the ship he grabbed a hand gun from one of the soldiers and shot him in the belly, a provocation which led to the death of 9 activists in the violence which followed. Sheikh Raed  Salah was, therefore, arrested. Eventually all the charges against Sheikh Raed  Salah were all dropped because of international pressure and an Israeli decision not to press charges against any of the IHH ship ‘Mavi Marmara’ activists (see – IHH Ties ).

* On Tuesday 06/28/2011 Sheikh Raed  Salah was detained in London after he was banned from entering the UK a week earlier. Sheikh Raed  Salah was invited by Labor MPs to attend a pro-Palestinian event in parliament. He landed at Heathrow Airport, on Saturday 06/25/2011, and passed immigration checks without any difficulty, probably due to small “changes” in his name. On Monday 06/27/2011, he gave a lecture to a crowd of 500 Muslims in London on the effect of the “Arab spring” on Palestinians. However, the event in parliament in which he was slated to participate will likely be canceled (see also -U.K Islamic Grip).


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