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PA deputy minister gives Prince Charles copy of 7th century Islamic document prohibiting Jews to live in Jerusalem

Headline: “The [PA] deputy minister of religious affairs presents His Honor Prince Charles with a copy of Umar’s Assurance”

“[PA] Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Husam Abu Al-Rub gave British heir to the throne Prince Charles a copy of Umar’s Assurance (a document from 638 by Muslim leader Umar Ibn Al-Khattab during his conquest of Jerusalem, stipulating no Jews were to live in Jerusalem –Ed.) during his visit to the Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque and his tour there as part of his official visit to Bethlehem yesterday, Friday [Jan. 24, 2020].

Abu Al-Rub presented His Honor the Prince with a review of the history of the mosque, its status, its significance, and its location opposite the Church of the Nativity, and emphasized that Palestine has been based throughout history on love, tolerance, cooperation between the religions, and eliminating extremism and rejection of the other in order to achieve a future that will ensure free lives and dignity for all (sic., see note below regarding false claims of coexistence under the PA).”

Image source: Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Jan. 25, 2020

The PA often makes claims about peaceful coexistence with members of other religions and/or respect for all monotheistic religions. However, Palestinian Muslims frequently do not coexist peacefully and respectfully with their Samaritan and Christian compatriots, nor with other Christians or Jews. The following are a few examples: a. The Samaritans now living in the Samaritan village of Kiryat Luza, on Mount Gerizim near Nablus in the West Bank, lived in Nablus until the outbreak in 1987 of the first Intifada - a Palestinian wave of violence and terror against Israel in which approximately 200 Israelis were murdered. At that time, their Muslim neighbors began to harass them, causing them to move to Mount Gerizim, where they established Kiryat Luza. b. Although officially the PA claims to treat Christians equally, it has no laws to protect freedom of religion nor does it ensure equal protection to Christians in its judicial system; its forces have attacked groups of Palestinian Christians (e.g., Beit Sahur, August 1997); clause 2 of Article 4 of the PA Basic Law specifies Shari'ah law as that "The principles of Islamic Shari'a shall be the main source of legislation;" and it has broadcast through its official media sermons with statements such as: "Allah the Almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them." [Official PA TV, Friday sermon at a mosque in Gaza by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, Oct. 13, 2006] c. The Christian population in Bethlehem, a city of great significance for Christianity, has significantly declined - it has dropped from 85% in 1948 to 40% in 1967 and 16% in 2016. This drop in population has been caused in large part by the rise of Islamism and the systematic discrimination against and harrassment of Christians (see examples above) - factors that the Bethlehem Christian community cannot publicly speak out against for fear of repercussions. d. Only Muslims can pray at the Temple Mount; Palestinians and the Jordanian Waqf do not agree to Christian or Jewish worship at the site.

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