An imam in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod in central Israel was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of incitement to violence. Sheikh Yusuf Albaz, 63, a spiritual leader at the Great Mosque in Lod, was arrested over videos he posted to social media that seemed to call for violence against police, with a comment “The best way to deal with injustice.”
Hours before his arrest he posted a message on Facebook expressing confusion as to why the video he posted caused such a firestorm among Israeli lawmakers and security officials, according to Israel’s Channel 12. Police opened an investigation into the video post after complaints from local residents, according to the report. The imam has in the past made comments viewed as incitement against Jews in Israel.
Police on Thursday were preparing for an uptick in violence in Lod over the imam’s arrest, according to reports.