Controversial Imam of Lod promotes cop-killing: Arrested under suspicion of incitement

Sheikh Yusuf Albaz, the iman of the city Lod, was arrested on Thursday under suspicion of incitement to violence and terrorism, Ynet reported.

Albaz rose to prominence last month during of the anti-Jewish riots in Lod, where his inflammatory speeches at the city’s Great Mosque were viewed as one of the catalysts behind the riots.

On Tuesday, Albaz posted to Facebook a scene from the movie “Wolf Creek” in which a killer violently murders two police officers, writing alongside the video: “The best way to deal with injustice.”

In response to the posts, Religious Zionist Party MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir submitted requests to investigate the sheikh.

According to reports, Albaz was investigated on Thursday morning by the Lahav 443 investigations unit of the Israel Police. His arrest was given the green light by the State Attorney’s Office, and Albaz is expected to remain in custody until the investigation is complete.

Albaz is allied with the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and has a long history of inciting and anti-Israel rhetoric. According to the Times of Israel, in previous posts he referred to Israel as an “enemy state” and wished death upon the “Zionist occupation.”

The Arab Desk of the Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu, which together with the Ad Kan organization has been involved over the past several weeks in exposing the sheikhs inciting rhetoric, responded to the arrest:

“This arrest was a long time coming. Whoever repeatedly promotes violence against Israelis needs to pay the price, and we expect our law enforcement agencies to bring the full weight of the law down on this inciting sheikh and put him behind bars.”


Israel in the News