Lod Imam Indicted for Incitement to Violence During Riots
An imam in the central Israeli city of Lod was indicted on charges of incitement to violence for his encouraging violence against police and threatening the city’s deputy mayor during riots in the city in May.
Sheikh Yusuf Albaz, 63, was charged on Thursday in Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, a month after he was arrested and released to house arrest. He is accused of posting a video clip from a movie on Facebook which showed a violent murder of two police officers alongside a message encouraging others to do the same. He also threatened Deputy Mayor Yossi Harush in a post on Facebook. He later told police investigators that he stood behind his messages.
Both a Jewish man and an Arab man were killed during riots in the city, which occurred at the same time as violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Albaz served as imam of the Great Mosque in Lod from 1991 to 2018, and remains involved in the mosque and a community leader. He is affiliated with the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which has close ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.