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PA daily front page article promises Israel's destruction in war as Allah’s will

Itamar Marcus  |

When the Palestinian Authority chooses to take an op-ed written by an unimportant writer and publish it on the front page of the official daily, it means that the message reflects PA ideology and they want Palestinians to take notice.

The op-ed by a Lebanese woman named Hala Salameh essentially summarizes opinions of an extremist Muslim religious leader. The article opens with the headline: “Palestine is a waqf of Allah.” Every Palestinian knows that a waqf is holy Islamic land and that it is prohibited under Islamic law to let a waqf remain under non-Islamic jurisdiction. As the article stresses:

“Palestine is a waqf of Allah, and it cannot be relinquished, or sold, or bargained over.”

 [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2020]

Accordingly, the writer cites the religious figure who promises that Allah will guarantee that “Palestine” - referring to all of Israel - will be conquered by Muslims through war as it was in the past:

“The will of Allah will be realized, and we will enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque as we entered it the first time in the period of Caliph Omar [ibn Al-Khattib in 637], and as we entered it in the period of Saladin [Al-Ayyubi in 1187] (i.e., both by military conquest).”

Finally, she quotes the religious leader who after lamenting the fact that the serious battle against Israel has not yet started, encourages Palestinians to launch a perpetual conflict and not to give up hope. Israel will eventually be destroyed even if it takes 400 years:

“Sadly, our battle with the Zionist movement has not yet begun. The residents of Palestine, and together with them the Arabs – Muslims and Christians alike – fought the Europeans for 200 years to save Palestine… We will remain in conflict with the Zionist enemy even 400 years in order to liberate every part of the land of Palestine.”

Palestinian Media Watch exposed a similar message by the Lebanese cleric when he interviewed on official PA radio in 2018. Then he sent greetings to Palestinians who “throw blessed rocks at the Zionist snake” and declared that the land is waqf land from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.” 

The PA’s repeated presentation of the destruction of Israel as a mandatory religious obligation for Allah is very dangerous, as Palestinian Muslims are taught that it is prohibited to compromise on Allah’s will.

The most important PA religious leaders have also presented the conflict as a mandatory religious war for Allah. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, appointed by Mahmoud Abbas as his personal advisor on Islam and Head of the Sharia (Islamic) Courts concurred on this ideology:

"The entire land of Palestine is [Islamic] waqf and is blessed land... it is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it." 

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]

Likewise, the PA Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Hussein has stated:

“Palestine, that includes within it Jerusalem, is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) land [and] it is forbidden by Shari'ah law to relinquish it or ease the transfer of ownership of it to enemies, because it is part of the Islamic public property. Granting ownership over Islamic territory or part of it to enemies is invalid and constitutes treason.”

 [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 13, 2018] 

By adopting these religious rulings the PA is continuing its adoption of Hamas ideology, affirming that the conflict is a religious war for Allah and that Israel’s destruction is necessary and inevitable for Islam. 

Hamas Charter, Article 11:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."

The following is a longer excerpt of the op-ed calling for religious war for Allah, printed on the front page of the official PA daily:

Excerpt of an article published on the front page of the official PA daily
Headline: “Shari’ah Judge Khaldoun Oraymet: Palestine is a waqf of Allah”
“The religious and historical sites in Palestine have been one of the concerns of the occupying Israeli entity for a long time, because they [the historical sites] disprove its claims about the state being Jewish (sic., archaeological finds conclusively prove the Jewish presence in Israel since Biblical times). Therefore it is making efforts to erase Palestine’s true identity by attacking them [historical sites] and Judaizing them…
Former Secretary of the Lebanese Dar Al-Ifta’s [official institution issuing Fatwa religious rulings] Religious Legal Council Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymet… [said] the will of Allah will be realized, and that we will enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque as we entered it the first time in the period of Caliph Omar [ibn Al-Khattib in 637], and as we entered it in the period of Saladin [Al-Ayyubi in 1187] (i.e., both by military conquest), because Palestine is a waqf of Allah (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law), and it cannot be relinquished, or sold, or bargained over.’
He added: ‘Sadly, our battle with the Zionist movement has not yet begun. The residents of Palestine, and together with them the Arabs – Muslims and Christians alike – fought the Europeans for 200 years to save Palestine… We will remain in conflict with the Zionist enemy even 400 years in order to liberate every part of the land of Palestine.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2020]