'Blood libel' cleric Salah returns to Israel

By Jessica Elgot, April 17, 2012
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Sheikh Salah was detained at Ben Gurion airport, but later released

Sheikh Salah was detained at Ben Gurion airport, but later released

Controversial Islamic activist Raed Salah returned to Israel last night – after a ten month stay in Britain.

Israeli media reported that Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was detained briefly by security forces at Ben-Gurion Airport but was later released.

Last week senior judges ruled that father-of-six Sheikh Salah was free to stay in Britain despite having been banned by Home Secretary Theresa May, after he had given a sermon in which he allegedly invoked the antisemitic blood libel.

Sheikh Salah arrived in Britain last June after border officials made a series of mistakes that allowed him to enter through Heathrow Airport despite being on an exclusion list.

He was detained in his London hotel on June 28, hours after addressing a meeting in Leicester, the day before he was due to speak at Parliament. He was later described in the House of Commons as having "a history of virulent antisemitism".

Last updated: 8:57am, April 17 2012