Palestinian political leader Sheikh Raed Salah has been released from a prison in Israel after serving 17 months on charges of “incitement”.
Salah, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and former head of the northern Islamic Movement, was released from Megiddo prison on Monday morning just north of his hometown of Umm al-Fahm, southwest of Nazareth city.
Dozens of people, including family, friends, and followers gathered along the main entrance to Umm al-Fahm with celebratory music, banners, and boxes of sweets to greet Salah upon his return home.
Israeli police arrested Salah in August 2017. He spent 11 months behind bars without charge before he was released and placed under restrictive house arrest, including wearing an ankle monitor, for a period of two years while his trial proceeded.
In August 2020, Salah was re-arrested and sentenced to 28 months in prison – including time served – on four charges out of an original 12.
He was indicted under charges of “incitement to terror” and supporting an outlawed organization – the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel – based on several of his public speeches and Facebook posts, according to his lawyer.