Raed Salah, Arabic: رائد صلاح, is the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. First known among Arab citizens of Israel as a poet and father of eight children, Salah also served as the mayor of Umm al-Fahm - an Israeli-Arab city bordering the Green Line - in the 1990s. His popularity increased after his arrest by Israeli authorities in 2003 on allegations of funding Hamas.
For eighteen months prior to his arrest in 2003, Salah was barred from leaving Israel. The newspaper produced by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement was shut down and charities he had founded were closed. Since the election of Ariel Sharon, the Shin Bet had been monitoring and taping phone calls made by Salah and his officials, and intercepting e-mails as well. It was rumored that over 200,000 recordings were awaiting translation from Arabic to Hebrew to prepare for his trial.
Arrested and jailed on suspicion of raising millions of dollars for Hamas in May 2003, human rights non-governmental organizations charged that he had been "unfairly denied bail despite his status and community ties." He was released two years later under a deal that barred him from traveling abroad and required him to check in with an officer every month. Salah has alleged that the charges against him were a "mockery".