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PMW: PA's Grand Mufti’s fatwa bans Muslims from praying at al-Aqsa

Donna Rachel Edmunds  |

The Palestinian Authority's Grand Mufti has issued a fatwa banning Muslims from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque within the framework of the UAE-Israel peace deal.

Muslims from outside Israel and the Palestinian territories are now able to visit the mosque to pray, under the conditions of the recent deal normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE. However, the Palestinian Authority considers the deal a betrayal of its cause, and religious leaders have declared that any Muslim visiting the site, considered the third holiest in Islam, is a traitor.

“We absolutely won’t accept the [UAE’s] treason. One grain of sand from the soil of pure Palestine and from the soil of Al-Aqsa Mosque is more precious than our blood and our lives," Supreme Sharia Judge Mahmoud al-Habbash said on official PA TV on Saturday, according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch.

He continued: "Whoever wants to come visit the 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."

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti went further. PMW reports that appearing on Palestine This Morning, which is broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV, he told viewers: “It is forbidden for a Muslim to arrive in a plane of [either] 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 Al-Aqsa Mosque”…

"Normalization is treason," Habbash said. "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," he said. "Palestine will only be ours, Jerusalem will only be ours, and this occupation will pass and leave like every occupation that preceded it.”

Palestinian Media Watch highlighted in a statement that this may be understood as a call to violence against Israel and the UAE, given Habbash's previous teaching that the Koran commands that enemies must be killed. Anyone who “comes to attack me... my home... my land... I am commanded to fight him... I am allowed to kill him,” he said.