Though Sheikh Salah’s body is tied up to Israeli prison manacles, his voice continues to make its way into Palestinians’ and Muslims’ anti-occupation annals
While Sheikh Salah is being locked up in Israeli jails just because he spoke his mind, Israeli excavations underneath Islamic and Christian holy sites in Occupied Jerusalem have hit the zenith.
It was in 1995 that Sheikh Salah unveiled a chain of Israeli secret tunnels. In one of his unforgettable appearances, Sheikh Salah emerged with his blue trousers and winter jacket while he crept into one of the secret underground tunnels furtively dug by Israel.
Statements released by Sheikh Salah in that very year -1995- sounded the alarm over two Israeli tunnels beneath the holy al-Aqsa Mosque and urged the world to take action immediately.
A set of videos and live snapshots released by Sheikh Salah on January 1, 1997, during a press conference in the Ambassador Hotel, showcased excavations dug up under the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Pictures of cracks rocking the walls and foundations of the Mosque and adjacent holy sites were captured on tape and photographed by Salah. Shortly after Salah’s shocking testimonies, the Israeli occupation government kept boiling with rage.
Israel’s former internal security minister—Avigdor Kahalani at the time—embarked on a ferocious ad-hominem campaign which did not only aim at blemishing Salah’s reputation but also stirred up outspoken incitement against him.
Though he was kidnapped by the occupation forces in 2003 and detained for over 30 months, Sheikh Salah has never thrown in the towel.
Just a few days after his release, he resumed his field probes, exposing as many sites as he possibly could. On January 3, 2006, Sheikh Salah leaked other videos and photos of a Jewish Synagogue established beneath the al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest site in Islam. Reappearing on stage on June 17, 2006, Salah unmasked new Israeli subways beneath the al-Aqsa and its surrounding sites. Sheikh Salah continued to speak up against such Israeli schemes upon various other occasions in 2007 and 2008.
In 2009 he sounded the alarm over a 600-meter-long tunnel network in Silwan heading toward the al-Aqsa place of worship and called for an urgent counteraction.
Another set of exclusive maps and testimonies released by Sheikh Salah on February 10, 2013 provided detailed accounts of Israel’s projected execution of a plan to construct a Jewish synagogue, an operational police station, and showrooms, all connected to the tunnels dug up below al-Aqsa.