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Sheikh Salah detained at Allenby

April 17, 2011 8:23 P.M. (Updated: May 8, 2011 7:23 P.M.)
TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- Head of the Islamic Movement in Israsel Sheikh Raed Salah was detained by Israeli officials at the Allenby Bridge border crossing as prepared to cross into Jordan.

According to a report from the Jerusalem Post, Salah was detained because he refused to submit to investigations and searches that border staff at the crossing intended to carry out.

Police told the Post that Salah arrived at the border crossing with his wife and refused a search of his wife, standing between police and his spouse to prevent it.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Salah was arrested at the crossing after an altercation in which he allegedly struck an interrogator who wanted to question his wife.

"He arrived at the Allenby crossing point with his wife, they went through standard security procedures during which his wife was also questioned," Rosenfeld told AFP.

"At some point he disagreed with his wife being asked further questions during the standard security procedures, and then apparently he struck one of the police officers," he added.

"He was immediately questioned at the scene there, and from what I understand he was then taken to Jerusalem for further questioning."

Salah, who was planning to cross into Jordan, was the only person involved in the incident, Rosenfeld said. His wife was not arrested.

Salah was sentenced to five months in Israeli prison and released in December 2010, on charges of obstructing an Israeli soldier.

He was detained in Jerusalem in February, during a visit to a protest tent in the eastern part of the city, where he was showing support for Palestinians evicted from their homes by aggressive settler groups.

He was also held after taking part in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that Israeli naval commandos stormed on May 31 in an operation which left nine Turkish activists dead.

The Islamic Movement is tolerated in Israel but is under constant surveillance because of its perceived links with the militant Hamas movement that controls the Gaza Strip, as well as with other Islamist groups worldwide.

Israel's Arab community numbers 1.3 million, about 20 percent of the population. It is made up of 160,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel after the 1948 establishment of the Jewish state, and their descendants.

AFP contributed to this report
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