Last updated: 18 June, 2014

Israel slaps travel ban on firebrand Islamic cleric

Israel said Wednesday it has banned firebrand Islamic cleric Raed Salah from travelling abroad because he could pose a threat to the nation’s security.

Interior Minister Gideon Saar said in a statement authorities have information indicating that Salah “planned on carrying out illegal activity” while abroad that could “undermine national security.”

Saar gave no further details nor did he identify the countries that Salah, an Arab Israeli, had planned to visit.

Salah, leader of the radical northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, is no stranger to run-ins with the authorities.

In May, a court fined him 9,000 shekels ($2,600/1,862 euros) for obstructing the work of the police when they quizzed his wife three years earlier at a border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.

In March, he was sentenced to eight months prison for incitement to violence over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

In 2010, he spent five months behind bars for spitting at an Israeli policeman.

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

The travel ban comes as Israel is pressing a manhunt for three Israeli teenagers who it says have been kidnapped by Hamas in the West Bank.