Leader of Haifa Riots Released from Jail Under Presidential Amnesty

David Ben-Haroush, the self-styled leader of the North African immigrants who was sent to jail last August for his part in the Haifa riots last July, was released today on a presidential amnesty.

Originally sentenced to a two-year term on charges which included assaulting one of the police who helped and the rioting in Haifa’s Wadi Salib section and illegal possession of firearms, Ben-Haroush had his term cut in half on appeal. It is customary to release prisoners on good behavior after they have finished two-thirds of their sentence.

Ben-Haroush said, on leaving the prison, that he would return to political activities but that he would “change” his line. He did not disclose what his new political approach would be. “Even David Ben-Gurion was once imprisoned and later resumed his activities so there is no reason why I should be discouraged,” he declared. While he was in jail, his followers organized a new political party which polled less than one percent of the votes in the national election last November.

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