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PA daily op-ed: The day that Allah will free the land “is not far off”

From Sheikh Hassan Ahmad Jaber’s column “Religious Reflections,” in official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida’s weekly religious supplement. Sheikh Hassan Ahmad Jaber is Mufti of the Rafiah region and a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Legal Rulings.
     “On the fifteenth of the month of May, 1948, catastrophe (nakba) struck our resolute people, a kind of catastrophe never confronted by any nation in history, for this [catastrophe] was a mark of shame on the states that brought Jews from all over the world and settled them on land that is not theirs and in a country that is not theirs. They drove our people out, removed it from its land and denied it its minimal human rights. Before that day, May 15, 1948, there had been fierce [military] campaigns and battles during which our Palestinian people etched its history in fiery letters, in spite of the assistance supplied to these Jews by the western world. In every battle it entered, our Palestinian people overcame the Jews and those who supported them, for the colonialist states – Britain among them – smuggled weapons by sea to the Jews and their gangs, and at the same time prevented any Palestinian from having a weapon, not a single bullet. Our Palestinian people sold its women’s jewelry to buy one bullet with which to defend its land and honor. But May 15 arrived, and marked the onset of the conspiracy that had been devised against our Palestinian nation, a conspiracy accomplished by the recognition of Israel as a state. As we remember that accursed day, our determination to demand our rights only grows, and we shall change that day from a day of catastrophe (nakba, the term used by Palestinians when referring to the establishment of the State of Israel) to a day of returning. Whoever does not read history may wonder: How can this day be changed from "nakba" (catastrophe) to "return?" We answer: two years ago our Palestinian people walked to the borders that separate Arabs from Israel, and our people crossed the border into its country of Palestine, armed with nothing other than faith in Allah and the determination to gain its rights and free its land. Had this elite of our people been armed and supported by the states that border Israel, that which gladdens a friend and saddens an enemy would have happened. But, that day is not far off, the day that Allah will unify the Arab and Islamic Ummah (nation) and inspire it with commitment, courage, and honest intent to free the land, and our people’s cause will be properly resolved in a way that will restore the rights to its people. And so, the Arab and Islamic Ummah (nation) must quit the internal disputes and conflicts, and surely know that these disputes and conflicts, whatever their causes may be, serve only the interests of the enemy. For on this painful anniversary, the Al-Aqsa Mosque suffers Judaization and desecration, the goals of which are to establish faits accomplis regarding the mosque and divide it, for the Jews are taking advantage of the disputes among Arabs and Muslims. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is calling: ‘Oh, Arabs. Oh, Muslims. Stand firm! Free your homeland and remove oppression and tyranny from Arab and Islamic land.’”