Middle East

Israeli Arab Raed Salah jailed over spitting incident

Raed Salah is surrounded by supporters as he arrives at Ramla prison near Tel Aviv on 25 July, 2010
Image caption Raed Salah was accompanied to prison by dozens of supporters

A prominent Israeli-Arab leader has begun a five-month jail sentence for spitting at a policeman during a protest in East Jerusalem more than three years ago.

Raed Salah turned up at the prison in Ramla accompanied by dozens of his supporters.

He was charged in relation to a 2007 demonstration over Israeli renovation work near the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

He heads a radical wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

His original sentence of nine-months was shortened by an Israeli court. Court documents said he insulted a border policeman and spat in his face, but he has always denied the charges.

Raed Salah has been detained by the Israelis a number of times, including after taking part in the flotilla trying to reach Gaza in May, when nine Turkish activists were shot by Israeli forces.

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