'Blood libel' cleric Raed Salah detained in Jerusalem

Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah

Israeli police have arrested controversial Islamic activist Raed Salah on suspicion of incitement.

Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was detained in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

It is understood that he was on his way to give a press conference urging Palestinians to protest about the al-Aqsa Mosque when he was arrested by intelligence officers.

Israeli authorities claimed Sheikh Salah had accused Israel of trying to set fire to the mosque during a speech last week.

In April last year he won an appeal against the Home Office’s plan to deport him from Britain, despite judges ruling that he had given a sermon in which he invoked the antisemitic blood libel.

At the centre of Sheikh Salah's defence was his denial that in a 2007 sermon in east Jerusalem, his remarks on children’s blood being used to bake “holy bread” were references to the blood libel against Jews.

Tribunal judges ruled that his claims were “wholly unpersuasive”, but said Home Secretary May had been “misled” and had shown “disproportionate interference” when attempting to ban him from Britain.

Last updated: 10:37am, September 3 2013