Raed Salah interrogated in prison; Basel Ghattas targeted for indictment today

Raed Salah, the imprisoned leader of the Islamic Movement in Palestine ’48, was summoned for interrogation by Israeli intelligence on Wednesday, 4 January, allegedly about “incitement,” following an earlier interrogation on 21 December.

Salah, widely known for his advocacy around the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque, has been imprisoned since May 2016 on charges of “incitement,” dating back to speeches made years ago. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and is scheduled for release in February. The Islamic Movement has been banned in 2015, and Palestinian organizations from across the political spectrum have denoucned the banning, raids and persecution that have followed as an attack on all Palestinians in ’48 Palestine, who hold Israeli citizehnship.

Throughout his time in prison, Salah has been held in solitary confinement, while the Israel Prison Service has declared that he is a threat “due to his influential personality;” his appeal to end his isolation was denied in November.  His lawyers emphasized that the interrogation appears to be a means to extend his imprisonment and prevent his release.

The extended interrogation of Salah comes as Israeli attorney general Avishai Mandelblit announced that he would be filing charges against MK Basel Ghattas of the National Democratic Alliance (Balad) party, accusing the prominent political leader among Palestinian citizens of Israel of bringing cellular phones to imprisoned Palestinians. As’ad Daqqa, the brother of imprisoned Walid Daqqa, has already been accused on these charges. Ghattas is currently under house imprisonment for 10 days, and his lawyers stressed their absolute rejection of any extension of his home imprisonment, emphasizing that the case is politically motivated.