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PA Mufti issues religious ruling banning those who normalize relations with Israel from praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque

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.’”





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


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 Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020. Main points of the plan: 1- Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank. 2- Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians. 3- The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall. 4- The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace. 5- All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released. 6- Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state. 7- Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace. The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security. The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment.