JERUSALEM (JTA) — A leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and three other Israeli-Arabs who participated in the Gaza Freedom flotilla were released to house arrest.
Sheik Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, was also barred from leaving Israel for the next 45 days.
Salah alleged Thursday in an Ashkelon court that he was deliberately targeted by the Israeli naval commandos that boarded the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara early Monday morning. Nine people were killed in the confrontation between Israeli troops and activists aboard the Gaza-bound ship. Israeli forces stopped the six ships sponsored by the Free Gaza Movement, but at least one other ship is currently on its way in another attempt to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
"I am ready to die for God," Salah told the court." It is our right to defend ourselves; it is our right to help the weak. We were on a ship under Turkish patronage, and they need to help us."
The other Israeli-Arabs released to house arrest are Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, Sheik Hammad Abu Daabes, the head of the Southern Wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and Free Gaza delegation leader Lubna Masarwa.