“Al-Aqsa Preacher” sentenced
Sunday, September 25, 2016, 12:02 On Sunday, September 25, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court sentenced Sheikh Omar Abu Sara’a, a Muslim preacher known as “The Al-Aqsa Preacher”, to an eight-month prison sentence for incitement to murder Jews in his sermons he gave on the Temple Mount. In December 2014 Honenu Attorney Hur Uriel Nizri filed a complaint against the sheikh on behalf of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a short time after the assassination attempt on the rabbi. In early January 2015 Sheikh Abu Sara’a was detained and on January 21, 2015 the Attorney General’s office filed an indictment against him. On March 28, 2016 Sheikh Omar Abu Sara’a was convicted of incitement. Honenu is pleased with the handling of the complaint and the fact that Sheikh Abu Sara’a will be imprisoned, but also leveled criticism: “This has been a case of too little, too late. We are pleased that a sheikh who incited to murder Jews will be imprisoned, but wonder how it is that the penalty sentenced to him is relatively light, despite the fact that he has many loyal followers who are very likely to have injured Jews due to the incitement. In contrast a Jewish youth with almost no influence was convicted on the basis of a document targeting Arabs which he did not publicize, and was sent to two years in jail.” Additionally Honenu states, “We see that our complaints about incitement to injure Jews and about actual injuries have yielded results. Sheikh Abu Sara’a is the second sheikh who has been arrested and sent to prison following complaints filed by Honenu. Unfortunately we note that when Jews are the object of incitement there is a need for citizens and private organizations to file complaints and assist the system with carrying out their duties. We hope that this policy will change and that the police and the Attorney General’s office will do their jobs reliably.” Two weeks prior to Sheikh Abu Sara’a’s conviction, on March 14, 2016, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court convicted Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi of incitement following complaints, see here and here, filed by Honenu.