PA and Fatah personalities
Mahmoud Abbas
Abbas Zaki
Yasser Arafat
PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein
Ibrahim Mudayris
Mahmoud Al-Habbash
Ahmed Qurei
Salam Fayyad
Issa Karake
Jibril Rajoub
Mahmoud Al-Habbash

Mahmoud Al-Habbash was appointed Minister of Religious Affairs by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in June 2009. He served in that position until June 2014, when the Fatah-Hamas unity government was formed. He was then appointed Supreme
Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

In a press conference broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Habbash explained that when he served as Minister of Religious Affairs, he was responsible for “all activity within the mosques” including the sermons, which require prior approval by his ministry:

“It should be noted that the Ministry of Religious Affairs held the press briefing in the conference hall at the Ministry of Information to talk about the steps taken by the PA in order to regulate the activity of the mosques…
Al-Habbash [PA Minister of Religious Affairs] emphasized that the mosques and everything related to them belong to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, from the employees – the imam, the speaker, the Quran teacher, the librarian, the caretakers and custodians –via the mosque and its adjacent structures… to regulation of the activity and the functioning, in accordance with Shari’ah and civil law…
He emphasized that the Ministry is responsible for all activity within the mosques – the functioning, the centers for Quran study, the calls to prayer, and the sermons – and that the Ministry would not take lightly or be negligent in the fulfillment of its obligation. He noted that the religious lessons, Quran study and other activities going on in the mosques require prior approval by the Ministry.” [Al-Ayyam, Aug. 16, 2010]

In his capacity as minister, Al-Habbash delivered the Friday sermons transmitted on official PA TV, using them to convey different messages to the people. The sermons, many which of are documented on PMW’s website, are a reflection of the messages that the Ministry of Religious Affairs choose to disseminate to the Palestinian people.

A recurring message propagated in Al-Habbash's sermons is that Palestinians are in a Ribat, an eternal religious conflict with Israel. In many of his sermons, Al-Habbash emphasizes the importance of Ribat as a religious duty incumbent upon all Muslim Palestinians, as expressed in the following example:

"Allah has preordained for us the Ribat (religious war) on this blessed land. We are committed to it by Allah’s command. Let no one be mistaken or under the illusion that Ribat (religious war) is a choice and nothing more. It is a commandment that necessitates hardship and requires the person to rush to fulfill this command. If Allah has chosen you for Ribat on the land of Ribat, you, the choicest of God’s servants, then this is an honor. The enemy is patient, it is waiting for the nation to collapse. The struggle over this land is not merely a struggle over a piece of land here or there. Not at all. The struggle has the symbolism of holiness, or blessing. It is a struggle between those whom Allah has chosen for Ribat and those who are trying to mutilate the land of Ribat." [Official PA TV, Feb. 12, 2010]

Abbas' advisor: All of "Palestine" will "return" to Palestinians through "resistance" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 12, 2014

Friday sermon in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas.
Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash: 
"All of this land will return to us, all our occupied land, all our rights in Palestine - our state, our people's heritage, our ancestors' legacy - all of it will return to us even if it takes time. Patience is the key to victory, and we are patient. In terms of resistance, all options are on the table, and in terms of diplomacy as well."
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Abbas advisor: Ziad Abu Ein’s ‎‎“assassination” was “a barbaric and ‎cowardly crime”‎ 
Source: WAFA news agency, Dec. 10, 2014
     ‎“Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq ‎Tirawi said that Abu Ein had been ‎assassinated and murdered in cold ‎blood... Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme ‎Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ ‎Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, ‎condemned the assassination of Martyr ‎‎(Shahid) Abu Al-Einein by the occupation ‎forces. He described this crime as a ‎‎‘barbaric and cowardly crime that is part of ‎an Israeli scheme to harm our national ‎determination and kill the spirit of the ‎Palestinian struggle against the settlers and ‎their rampages in all Palestinian towns and ‎villages.’‎ The [PA] Ministry of Information called Abu ‎Ein’s assassination ‘a barbaric crime and ‎state terrorism,’ testifying to the history of a ‎criminal [security] establishment that excels ‎in claiming numerous victims from among ‎the Palestinian people, proving its lust for ‎the blood of innocent people.”‎

Note: Ziad Abu Ein - Fatah Revolutionary Council member and head of the PA Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall. Abu Ein died on Dec. 10, 2014 at ‎a demonstration in the West Bank that ‎turned violent. Immediately following his ‎death, PA and Fatah leaders claimed that ‎Abu Ein was murdered. Footage from the ‎event shows Abu Ein in an altercation with ‎an Israeli soldier who grabbed Abu Ein by ‎the neck, and later shows Abu Ein on the ground clutching his chest in pain. The ‎autopsy, which was overseen by Israeli and ‎Palestinian pathologists, revealed that the ‎cause of death was a heart attack, but ‎disagreement remains over the extent to which the altercation with Israeli forces may have caused ‎the heart attack. Palestinians have ‎continued to describe Abu Ein's death as a ‎‎"murder" and "assassination" by

Abbas’ advisor: Jewish Jerusalem is a “fairy tale” 
Source: WAFA news agency, Nov. 23, 2014
     “Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, said that Arabs and Muslims around the globe, especially those with foreign citizenship, must go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and come together to Jerusalem to support the resolve of its residents. During a political forum held at the embassy of the State of Palestine in Algeria, Al-Habbash said: ‘Our people is now in the last stage of a war of existence and self-coercion against the occupation, which is seeking in any way possible to eradicate our identity, force a Caesarian birth of a Jewish entity and clone an illegal entity at our expense.’… In addition, he emphasized that the occupation – which thinks it has succeeded in winning the geographic war with [its] racist fences and roadblocks and that it will have the last word in the fairy tale of Jewish Jerusalem by taking over the Al-Aqsa Mosque – must be opposed.”

Abbas’ advisor warns of global Islamic war if Israel retains sovereignty over Jerusalem 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 21, 2014


Abbas’ advisor and Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash delivers Friday sermon in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas: 

     “The [Israeli] violations, arrogance, recklessness, stupidity and foolishness will lead to what we fear - outbreak of a religious war between them [Israelis] and all Muslims... If [war] breaks out, it will not be confined to Palestine’s borders, nor to those of the Middle East. It may spread to the entire world. Wherever there are Muslims, there will be confrontations. Al-Aqsa is a part of the religion, creed and faith of every Muslim, so he will never accept any violation or any attack against it, or any desecration of its sanctity, or any non-Muslim sovereignty over even a millimeter of its land and the land of Jerusalem.”
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Abbas' advisor: Israel is “reason for all the crises and troubles” in Middle East and the world 
Source: WAFA news agency, Nov. 20, 2014
     “Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, called the Israeli occupation of Palestine the reason for all the crises and troubles in the Middle East and in the world. He likewise said the only way to realize peace and stop the blood[shed] was to end this occupation, liberate Palestine and establish an independent Palestinian state.”

Abbas’ advisor: The Palestinian people abhors violence and opts for “peaceful popular resistance”  
Source: WAFA news agency, Nov. 20, 2014
     “During a speech he [Mahmoud Al-Habbash] gave at a conference on interreligious dialogue organized by the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in the Austrian capital, Vienna, he [Al-Habbash] emphasized that the Palestinian people aspires to a just and inclusive peace which will bring prosperity, stability and security. In addition, he emphasized that the Palestinian people abhors violence, and opposes the harming of innocents, but that, at the same time, it cannot accept the continuation of the Israeli occupation and aggression, nor the continuation of [Israel’s] desecration of the holy places and human rights violations. Al-Habbash added: ‘Peaceful popular resistance is the option the Palestinian people and its leadership have chosen. This resistance is a legitimate right, guaranteed by the international organizations.’”

Abbas' advisor: Israel is attempting to start a “religious war” that will spread and “endanger world peace” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2014
     “Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and the President’s [Mahmoud Abbas’] advisor on religious and Islamic affairs, warned of the occupation government’s attempts to draw the region into a religious war, the inherent danger of which would spread beyond the borders of the State of Palestine. In an interview with Mawtiny Radio yesterday [Nov. 18, 2014] Al-Habbash said: ‘The danger [inherent] in a religious war would not be confined to Palestine’s borders. If [such a war] erupts, Heaven forbid, it will be waged between all Palestinians and Jews around the world.’ He emphasized that a religious war would endanger world peace."

Abbas' advisor: Western Wall "is ours and will remain ours" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 7, 2014


Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
"All of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including its plazas, stone benches, prayer niches and walls, including the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount), including the blessed Al-Buraq Wall - all these are waqf to us (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). All this is waqf and kharaj land (i.e., land belonging to Muslims) and no one is permitted to sell it or negotiate over it or forfeit it. It is ours and will remain ours. The occupation is the one that will leave."
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Note: Islam's Prophet Muhammad is said to have ridden during his Night Journey from Mecca to "al aqsa mosque", i.e., "the farthest mosque" (Quran, Sura 17), and there tied his miraculous flying steed named Al-Buraq to a "stone" or a "rock." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 47, Hadith 3424). In the 1920's, Arab Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini decided to identify the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem as that "rock" or "stone," and since then Muslims refer to the Western Wall as the "Al-Buraq Wall."

Abbas’ advisor: Allah wants Muslims to carry out Ribat in Jerusalem 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 7, 2014
Official PA TV broadcast the Friday sermon from the Al-Tashrifat Mosque in the presidential compound in Ramallah. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic affairs: 
     “The Prophet Muhammad was the one who commanded us, and we obey him. Allah has chosen us, and Praise be to Allah for this choice. He has chosen us to live in Jerusalem and its environs, and to stand against [the enemy], protest against him, carry out Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) against him, and defend what belongs to the religion and the nation. We will protect the first direction of prayer, the second Mosque, the third Sanctuary after the other two Holy Sanctuaries (Mecca and Medina), the site of Muhammad’s Night Journey and the cradle of Christ. We will protect the land of the prophets from the enemies of the prophets. We will protect the land of the Apostles from the enemies of the Apostles. The campaign being waged in Jerusalem today – I am telling you, brothers – I think it is the final chapter. The final chapter after which our banners will be raised, with the aid of the one, exalted and omnipotent Allah, over the towers of the muezzin of Jerusalem, the churches of Jerusalem, the domes of Jerusalem, and its hills, mountains, alleys and houses.”

Abbas’ advisor “warns” Israel may drag Muslims all over world into “religious war” 
Source: Awdah independent Palestinian TV channel, Nov. 6, 2014
Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs:
     “Today, the protection and defense of Al-Aqsa, the efforts and the Jihad – Jihad by means of the body and Jihad by means of supply – for Al-Aqsa are a personal religious obligation [Arabic: fard ayn] for every Muslim man and woman from one end of the land to the other…We see a crazy and insane war being waged against the holiest place for the Muslims in Palestine: the Al-Aqsa Mosque… If this escalation continues – and we have warned, the President [Mahmoud Abbas] has warned of this [possibility] – it may lead to a religious war.... A religious war – to put it simply, that is – every Israeli would become a target for every Muslim from America to Japan, everywhere in the world, from all parts of the world. Every Muslim will feel that his religion and faith are being targeted, and that one of his holy places – the most important of his holy places – is being targeted. By whom? By these Israelis. These Israelis are [our] enemies and have become targets, because they are Israelis, for no other reason. The world’s Arabs and Muslims are the ones who will engage in direct confrontation [with Israel] on the material, operational and practical [level]. That is, you will be at war with a billion and a half Muslims…And this religious war will not be confined to Palestine. As I said, it may well [spread] to America, to Washington itself, to Europe, Asia, Africa. The fire of this war will reach every place in the world...”
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Abbas' advisor on terror murders: "We are behind them in every movement, in every action and every deed" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Nov. 5, 2014


Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Abbas' advisor, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
“First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out Ribat (religious conflict/ war over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem... I am not talking about strengthening their resolve; I am talking about participating in their resolve... We are behind them. The leadership is with them. A few days ago, President [Mahmoud Abbas] greeted them, reinforced them and requested more Ribat from them. This statement may have angered the Israelis and the occupation, that the President is inciting the Palestinians from Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat. Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat. Ribat means to protect and to hold on to your ground. We are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
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Abbas’ advisor: Israel is “the main cause of problems in the Middle East” and is “nourishing extremism and terrorism” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2014
     “A Palestinian delegation headed by Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, participated in the Putrajaya International Islamic Art and Culture Festival in Malaysia. During the festival, which was attended by the Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia, Anwar Al-Agha, Al-Habbash gave a speech in which he updated the participants on the difficult situation Palestine is in due to the Israeli occupation. In addition, he emphasized that the occupation was ‘the main cause of the problems in the Middle East,’ and that ‘peace will come only through justice, and security will come only through freedom.’ … Al-Habbash explained that the Israeli occupation is the one who is ‘nourishing extremism and terrorism,’ and that ‘the Muslims’ feelings of historic injustice for what has been done to our people since 1917 are fueling its severe reactions to the West.’”
From WAFA, official PA news agency

Abbas advisor: Israel plans to ban Muslims from Al-Aqsa Mosque 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2014
     “Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, said that the complete closing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time [since 1967] was planned by the official establishment of the occupation state. In addition, he said that ‘the claim of the attempted murder of the extremist Yehuda Glick, who engineered the daily invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas and calls for the construction of the alleged Temple over the ruins of the Mosque, was the excuse needed to carry out this premeditated plan to divide Al-Aqsa and permit the Jews to pray in it just like the Muslims. This constitutes the first step toward the complete Judaization [of the Mosque] and toward the banning of Muslims from going to it.’”

From WAFA, official PA news agency

Abbas’ advisor: “Jews have no right” to Jerusalem 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 31, 2014
     “Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Grand Imam of Malaysia Tan Sri Hajj [Ismail] Muhammad emphasized the importance of visiting Jerusalem, as this supports the residents’ resolve in face of the Israeli occupation. These statements were made during a meeting between Al-Habbash and the Grand Imam of Malaysia on Friday [Oct. 31, 2014], in the presence of the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Malaysia, Anwar Al-Agha…
In addition, [Al-Habbash] emphasized the Arab nature of the Holy City and the Islamic nature of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and that the Jews have no right to either of them.”

Abbas’ advisor: Palestinians are descendants of Jebusite Canaanites, who built Jebus, Jerusalem, 5,000 years ago 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 24, 2014
Official PA TV broadcast the Friday sermon from Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah. The sermon was delivered by Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs:
Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Our forefathers and historical lineage, the Jebusite Canaanites, built Jebus, Jerusalem, the City of Peace – the Canaanites called it the City of Peace – 5,000 years ago. Our presence in Jerusalem has not ceased for 5,000 years. Nations and occupations have passed through, and colonialism, whether brief or long. It came and left, but the people of Jerusalem stayed. These transients will move on, while the people of Jerusalem will stay. They have no place in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is ours, not theirs.”

Abbas' advisor: "The entire land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law)" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014
     "Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, said that selling or handing over lands and real estate in Jerusalem and all of Palestine to the Israeli occupation or settlers constitutes treason and a violation of Islamic law. He emphasized that anyone committing this crime - whether as a [real estate] agent or seller - is not part of the nation, and must responsibility for his crime. In addition, he issued a call to fight the groups of traitors - to isolate and boycott them in any way possible.
Al-Habbash emphasized that according to Islamic Shari'ah law, the entire land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land, and that it is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
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Abbas’ advisor: The Balfour Declaration ‎was a “historic mistake”‎ 
Source: WAFA news agency, Oct. 14, 2014
     ‎“Prominent Palestinian leaders, individuals, ‎factions and institutions welcomed today the ‎decision of the British House of Commons to ‎recognize the State of Palestine… Mahmoud ‎Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge ‎and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious ‎and Islamic Affairs, said that [with its ‎decision] today, Britain was correcting, even ‎if only symbolically, the historic mistake it ‎committed against the Palestinian people in ‎‎1917, almost 100 years ago, by means of the ‎Balfour Declaration, which called for the ‎establishment of a national home for the ‎Jews on the land of Palestine.”‎

Note: The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 ‎was a letter from British Foreign Secretary ‎Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that ‎‎“His Majesty's government view with favour ‎the establishment in Palestine of a national ‎home for the Jewish people” and is seen as ‎the basis for later international commitments ‎to establish the State of Israel.‎

Abbas’ advisor: Gaza war was “genocide” and Palestinians are being “annihilated” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 10, 2014
Official PA TV broadcast the Friday sermon from Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah. The sermon was delivered by Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs. Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki was in the audience.
Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Is the Palestinian people not more worthy of aid [than the victims of Islamic State]? Is it not more worthy of deliverance and protection? The nation that is being annihilated, that is being subjected to genocide – and then they [Israel] are angry with the President [Mahmoud Abbas] for having described what happened in Gaza as genocide. What should we call it? What did the occupation do in Gaza? Crack jokes, perhaps? Go on a hike? Pat the shoulders of the children who died, and then they died? What do you call what happened? What should we call it, if not war crimes and genocide? What should we call it, if not Holocaust?”

Abbas' advisor: Fatah and Hamas agree about "liberating Palestine" (i.e., all of Israel) 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Sept. 26, 2014


Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and the PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
"The Palestinian national reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] - how long will arguments and struggles over matters concerning the interests of the Palestinian people, and especially the Gaza Strip, continue?... What are we [Fatah and Hamas] divided about? Do we disagree about Jerusalem, for example? [Do we] disagree about liberating Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea? Disagree about what? What do they disagree about? About a minister responsible for a certain area, about a clerk who needs a job? Issues like these, my brothers, the things, for Allah's sake, all these small [issues] are meaningless compared to the interests of the public."
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Abbas advisor bestows plaque with map ‎erasing Israel 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 21, 2014
‎    

“Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme ‎Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ ‎Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs ‎paid a solidarity visit to several of those ‎injured in the Israeli aggression (i.e., Gaza ‎War 2014) at the Palestine Medical ‎Complex and the Khalil Abu Raya ‎Rehabilitation Centre, which belongs to ‎the Patient’s Friends Society, in ‎Ramallah.”‎

Text beneath image: “Al-Habbash during ‎his visit with the wounded.”‎

The image shows Al-Habbash handing a ‎wounded man a plaque of honor with the ‎Palestinian flag and a map of “Palestine”, ‎which includes all of Israel and the PA ‎areas.