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Abbas’ advisor: Allah chose us for Jihad, we’re protecting the sanctity of Jerusalem; Jews are deluded by myth that Jerusalem is theirs

Official PA TV, excerpt of sermon by Supreme Shari’ah Judge, Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash at the mosque in the PA headquarters in Ramallah; in audience: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary-General of the PA Presidential Office Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Central Council member Jamal Muhaisen, and PLO Executive Committee member Mahmoud Ismail

Supreme Shari’ah Judge, Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “It can be said that we are acting today on behalf of the nation. But at the same time, where is the nation? Where is the nation on whose behalf we are acting? At least the nation should be with us, stand behind us, support our Jihad, support our resolve, support our Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic). It is a duty, not a kindness. Anyone who thinks that he is being charitable to the residents of Palestine, he is deluded. I will not be exaggerating if I say that the residents of Palestine carrying out Jihad and Ribat are the ones that are doing a kindness to all of the Muslims, as they are taking their place, and carrying out the duty of Jihad and protecting the sanctity of Jerusalem for them…

However, we are not doing anyone a favor either, but rather Allah is doing a kindness to us, by having chosen us for this Ribat, this Jihad, and this great mission…

They (i.e., the Jews) do not want to see anyone in Jerusalem other than themselves. They do not want to see anything other than the myth, through which they have deluded themselves that Jerusalem is theirs. And Jerusalem has never been theirs, not in the past, not in the present, and not in the future. They delude themselves that they have a right to Jerusalem, and that they have a historical, religious, and human right to Jerusalem. And they have none of this… Jerusalem is ours and will be ours for eternity…

We will remain until ‘the final promise’ (refers to Sura 17:4-7 in the Quran, which Al-Habbash interprets as indicating a future destruction befalling the Jews; see note below –Ed.). And this battle, I swear by Allah, is one of the heralds of 'the final promise.' By Allah, it is of the signs that herald 'the final promise' that will come 'to sadden your faces' [Quran, Sura 17:7, Sahih International translation], and then the entry into the mosque will be 'as they entered it the first time.'

And we – the entire nation behind us, and I say to you: In the nation there is no one that can renounce one grain of Jerusalem's soil. You go and dream as you will of your 'deal' (refers to US President Donald Trump’s as yet unveiled Middle East peace deal –Ed.), but do not think that there is anyone in the nation that can market this empty merchandise. As our [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] said at the Al-Azhar [Conference in Cairo]: ‘No Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, or Christian has been born or will be born who can renounce one grain of Jerusalem's soil’…

We are in the midst of a great battle today, as I said, in a great battle, the greatest battle, on the verge of 'the final promise.' We need all of our weapons, and all of our preparations. Almighty Allah commands thus: 'And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war’ [Quran, Sura 8:60, Sahih International translation]…

Allah… forgive our sins, and cover our faults… Allah, forgive our sins and excesses, strengthen our resolve, and grant us victory over the infidel people."

Mahmoud Al-Habbash’s reference to “the final promise” apparently refers to verses in the Quran that speak of two destructions befalling the Jews, where the same term is used. While most interpretations understand the two destructions to refer to the destructions of the First and Second Temples, Al-Habbash’s phrasing – “We will remain until ‘the final promise’” – makes it clear that he understands the Quran to be indicating a future destruction that is to befall the Jews. The verses in question are: “(4) And We conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Scripture that, ‘You will surely cause corruption on the earth twice, and you will surely reach [a degree of] great haughtiness.’ (5) So when the [time of] promise came for the first of them, We sent against you servants of Ours - those of great military might, and they probed [even] into the homes, and it was a promise fulfilled. (6) Then We gave back to you a return victory over them. And We reinforced you with wealth and sons and made you more numerous in manpower (7) [And said], ‘If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, [you do it] to yourselves.’ Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies] to sadden your faces and to enter the temple in Jerusalem (the original text does not explicitly mention a temple in Jerusalem and can be read “when the final promise will come,” leaving it ambiguous as to whether it refers to the destruction of the Second Temple or some future destruction –Ed.), as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction” (Quran, Sura 17:4-7, Sahih International translation).

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