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Israel is “the enemy of Prophet Muhammad” - PA seeks religious war over UAE-Israel peace agreement

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

PA fatwa forbids Muslims who come via the UAE following peace agreement
to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Senior PA religious official:

  • UAE’s making peace and “normalizing” with Israel is “treason” and “political prostitution”

  • “Normalization is treason. Normalization means that you agree to natural relations with your brother’s murderers and your father’s murderers. That you agree to natural relations with the enemies of Prophet Muhammad”

  • PA Grand Mufti issues fatwa forbidding Muslims who come via the UAE following peace agreement with Israel to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Whereas PA officials like to accuse Israel of igniting “a religious war,” it is PA officials who are pushing for a religious war in the wake of the peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Speaking against the agreement, the PA’s Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash stated that the UAE’s normalization with Israel is “treason.” He then explained that normalization with Israel/Jews means “that you agree to natural relations with the enemies of Prophet Muhammad.”

Al-Habbash further stated that any non-Palestinian Muslim coming to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque via the terms of the UAE-Israeli peace agreement are “unwanted” in the PA and will be met with contempt:

Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “We absolutely won’t accept the [UAE’s] treason. One grain of sand from the soil of pure Palestine and from the soil of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is more precious than our blood and our lives... What happened is treason... This is treachery. Not just against the Palestinian people. This is a denial of the heritage of Prophet Muhammad... Are Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque goods that are sold in the market of political prostitution? ... [The UAE] have sold Jerusalem, have relinquished Jerusalem, and are trying to market their treason as them opening the door for the worshippers to come and pray in Jerusalem...

Whoever wants to come visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the gate of Palestine: Welcome, and we will rejoice over him... But whoever wants to come through the Israeli gate is unwanted, and he will find nothing but the shoes of the people of Jerusalem and the spit of the people of Jerusalem in his face...

Normalization is treason. Normalization means that you agree to natural relations with your brother’s murderers and your father’s murderers. That you agree to natural relations with the enemies of Prophet Muhammad. That you agree to natural relations with those who want the site of Muhammad’s Night Journey to turn into a Temple...  We’ll continue to resist even if we’ll all be killed and slaughtered. Palestine will only be ours, Jerusalem will only be ours, and this occupation will pass and leave like every occupation that preceded it.”

[Official PA TV, Aug. 15, 2020]

In view of Al-Habbash’s previous teachings, this may very well be understood by Palestinians and Muslims as a call to violence against both the UAE and Israel. Recently Palestinian Media Watch exposed that Al-Habbash taught Palestinians that the Quran permits Muslims to kill Israelis: Anyone who “comes to attack me... my home... my land... my homeland... my property... my honor... my family... your existence... your rights... your souls.” What must be done?  “I am commanded to fight him... I am allowed to kill him,” Al-Habbash said. Israel being “the enemy” of Islam’s Prophet, and the UAE’s “normalization” with Prophet Muhammad’s “enemy” may be interpreted as an attack on many of the above, and legitimate reasons to take to violence. 

The PA Grand Mufti went further than Al-Habbash and issued a fatwa – a religious ruling – that forbids Muslims who come via the UAE following peace deal with Israel to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

“Sheikh Muhammad Hussein issued a fatwa (i.e., religious ruling) determining that praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE is ‘forbidden. Hussein said that... ‘Praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque is open to all those who arrive through the legal Palestinian gate, and not to those who carry out normalization.’”

[Anadolu, Turkish state-run news agency, Aug. 16, 2020]

The Mufti stressed the prohibition on official PA TV:

PA Grand Mufti and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman Muhammad Hussein: “It is forbidden for a Muslim to arrive in a plane of the United Arab Emirates or not of the United Arab Emirates to the Lod Airport [in Israel], which today they call Ben Gurion Airport, in order to come and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is false marketing in terms of religious law, legally false, religiously offensive.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 15, 2020]

PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb Erekat stated that the UAE’s “normalization with Israel is a prize for the occupation’s crimes” and added that the PA/PLO “will not agree to them stabbing us in the back with a poisoned knife and telling us that this is for our benefit.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2020]

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Jamal Hammad said that “the Palestinian people wages intifadas one after the other” and “sent a message to all the bats lying in ambush in the dark, and said that Fatah’s traps are hidden, so woe to anyone who is tempted and thinks that the Palestinian people will agree to bend the knee.’ He added that “the land of Palestine is full of Martyrs and prisoners,” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 17, 2020] indicating that the PA is prepared to engage in violence and terror to protest peace between the UAE-Israel.

Israel-UAE peace agreement (Abraham Accords) – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Pursuant to the agreement, the countries will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.”

The following are longer excerpts of the statement cited above:

Headline: “The Mufti of Palestine to Anadolu agency: Visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of the normalization agreement is ‘forbidden’”
“[PA] Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein issued a fatwa (i.e., religious ruling) determining that praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE is ‘forbidden’ (see note below –Ed.).
Hussein said in an exclusive statement to the [Turkish state-run news] agency Anadolu: ‘Praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque is open to all those who arrive through the legal Palestinian gate, and not to those who carry out normalization.’ ...
He added: ‘We said in a previous fatwa that it is forbidden to cooperate with the deal of the century (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan). And normalization is one of the expressions of this deal, which everything that has arrived through it is forbidden and invalid.’ ...
The Mufti of Palestine called on those who claim that it is important to them ‘to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and pray inside it’ to work to put an end to the occupation of the mosque, if they are indeed sincere in their claim.
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein continued: ‘Visiting [the mosque] in the framework of normalization is forbidden, because this constitutes an implementation of the deal of the century. [The deal] means abandoning Jerusalem, because one of its clauses determines that Jerusalem is the capital of the Israeli entity, and as part of that, it follows that the holy sites are too.’”

[Anadolu, Turkish state-run news agency, Aug. 16, 2020]

Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.

Headline: “Erekat criticizes Amr Moussa’s call on the Arab states to hold normalization with the occupation”
“PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb Erekat criticized the statements of former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who demanded that additional Arab states follow the UAE in order to record more achievements for the Palestinians (refers to Israel-UAE peace agreement; see note below –Ed.)...
Erekat explained that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu answered everyone who attempted to beautify the UAE’s recognition of Israel, the occupation of Jerusalem, and its Judaization by claiming that this stopped the annexation, when he said: ‘Annexation is on the table and it will be carried out.’
[He added:] ‘Normalization with Israel is a prize for the occupation’s crimes, so is this an achievement for Palestine and its people? ...The PLO is the one who determines everything connected to the Palestinian affairs, just as the UAE is the one who determines its affairs. If the UAE had said that it had established relations with Israel because this serves its regional and international interests, and if Mr. Amr Moussa had said that the UAE’s decision serves its interests and that he supports normalization with Israel, our response would be different. But we will not agree to them stabbing us in the back with a poisoned knife and telling us that this is for our benefit.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2020]

Saeb Erekat also serves as Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Chief Negotiator.

“Hundreds of residents of the Salfit district participated in a mass procession that was organized by the Fatah Movement’s Salfit branch two nights ago [Aug. 15, 2020]...
The participants waved Palestinian flags... and condemned the agreement of shame and treason: Normalization with the Zionist enemy (refers to Israel-UAE peace agreement; see note below –Ed.). They burned images of UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed [Al Nahyan].
Fatah Revolutionary Council member Jamal Hammad said that the Palestinian people wages intifadas one after the other...
He demanded that all the national liberation movements stand against the normalization agreements with the Zionist entity.
Hammad sent a message to all the bats lying in ambush in the dark, and said that Fatah’s traps are hidden, so woe to anyone who is tempted and thinks that the Palestinian people will agree to bend the knee. He added that the land of Palestine is full of Martyrs and prisoners, and that the betrayals will not shake it and the plots will not intimidate it.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 17, 2020]