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Abbas’ advisor: Had Israel not existed, Palestinians wouldn’t have suffered now

Saudi Al-Arabiya TV host: “What is your opinion about TheNew York Times article and the survey that appears in it, according to which the Gaza Strip residents accuse the Hamas Movement for the situation from which they are suffering today (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below)?”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “For the sake of fairness, we must first of all accuse the Israeli occupation. If not for the Israeli occupation’s existence, we would not all be in this difficult situation. It is true that Hamas bears a great part of the responsibility for the situation that the Palestinian cause is in, not just due to the war but because of what it did in 2007, 17 years ago, when it carried out a coup against the PA. ...

Host: “According to what The New York Times said, there are residents in the Gaza Strip who accuse Hamas of starting a destructive war that today has destroyed the Gaza Strip…

Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Even if that’s true, we must not forget to first and foremost accuse the Israeli occupation… The action (i.e., Hamas’ massacre on Oct. 7, 2023) could be legitimate and desirable, but if its consequences are illegitimate and cause damage - Even in terms of Shari’ah [law], legal experts said that based on the principle of consequences that if the action is lawful but its consequences cause damage, the action itself (i.e., Hamas’ terror war) is unlawful.”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, June 15, 2024] 


Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - Over 1,100 Israelis, including over 800 civilians, were murdered and over 5,000 wounded, in addition to approximately 251 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 135 later released or liberated - 19 of them whose bodies were retrieved - and at least 41 who were killed and had their bodies held), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists and thousands of Gazan civilians broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched Operation Iron Swords to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

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