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Israel extends detention of Palestinian cleric over al-Aqsa Mosque protests

The Israeli regime has extended for several more days the detention of Sheikh Raed Salah, a cleric caught up in the developments ensuing from a crackdown on the al-Aqsa Mosque protests.

According to Press TV, Salah’s lawyer said Monday that Israeli prosecutors had demanded a regime court to renew the cleric’s remand until Thursday as charges were being prepared against him.

The 58-year-old cleric, who is residing in the pre-1967 Israeli-occupied territories, was arrested on August 15 over allegations of supporting terrorism. He was an active advocate of Palestinians who sought the removal of Israel’s controversial security measures at the gates of the Haram al-Sharif compound, which is home to the revered al-Aqsa Mosque.

The security measures, which came after the July 14 deadly shooting and killing of two Israeli policemen, sparked some unprecedented protests and sit-in gatherings in occupied East al-Quds, the neighborhood where the al-Aqsa Mosque compound is located.

For around two weeks, worshippers heeded calls from Muslim clerics, including Salah, and refused to pass through metal detectors until the regime was forced to remove them.

People close to Salah said filing charges against the cleric, which the prosecutors said was planned, was a “political intimidation” intended to silent dissent.

Among the allegations Salah is facing is a sermon he gave after the July 14 incident. Khaled Zabarka, the lawyer of the cleric, said Salah was accused of “inciting violence and terrorism” as well as supporting an illegal organization.

Salah served nine months in Israeli jails on similar allegations before he was released in January.

Israel also outlawed his group, the Islamic Movement in Israel, in 2015 for allegedly stoking violence.