PA's top religious leader: Muslims have religious obligation to “liberate Palestine”
PA Mufti, the PA's top religious leader:
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Mufti of the Palestinian Authority Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, appointed in 2006 by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the position of most senior religious leader in the PA, told a conference of "Muslim scholars and delegations from over 46 countries" that Israel must be destroyed in the name of Islam:
"The land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). It must not be relinquished nor must any part of it be sold... It is the duty of the leaders of the [Islamic] nation and its peoples to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 23, 2015]
This statement - that according to Islamic law "Palestine is waqf... and must not be relinquished," but should be "liberated" - imposes prohibitions and obligations on all Muslims. First, according to the PA religious leader, all Muslims are prohibited from recognizing Israel's existence or signing a genuine and permanent peace treaty with Israel that "relinquishes any part" of "Palestine," meaning all of Israel. Second, he told the world's Muslim delegations that they and all Muslims have a religious obligation to "liberate Palestine" - meaning to destroy Israel.
Palestinian Media Watch reported that a similar statement was made by Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the second most important religious leader in the PA:
"The entire land of Palestine (i.e., includes all of Israel) is waqf(i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land... It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]
The PA is increasingly adopting Hamas' ideology prohibiting recognition of Israel and demanding its destruction, not only in the name of Palestinian nationalism, but in the name of Islam. The language used by both the Mufti and Abbas' advisor is almost identical to the language in Hamas' charter:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up." [Hamas Charter, Article Eleven]
Abbas' advisor Al-Habbash recently stated explicitly that "Palestine's" destiny is to replace all of Israel through a combination of diplomacy and violence:
"All of this land will return to us, all our occupied land, all our rights in Palestine - our state, our people's heritage, our ancestors' legacy - all of it will return to us even if it takes time. Patience is the key to victory, and we are patient. In terms of resistance, all options are on the table, and in terms of diplomacy as well."
Other PA religious officials are following these two leaders and increasing Islam-based hate speech and Antisemitism. Imad Hamato, the host of a PA TV program teaching Islam and a professor of Quranic Studies, taught in February that Allah Himself determined that Jews are causing "corruption" in the land, and that humanity therefore "will never live in comfort" because of them:
These represent only a few among many recent examples of the PA's adoption of radical Islamist ideology as its world view. At a Fatah celebration in January 2012, the Mufti cited an Islamic source that Muslims are destined to exterminate all Jews, and that Fatah's battle today against the Jews of Israel is part of that war of extermination:
'The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: 'Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].'
Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies. This is Palestine, when we talk about it, from the beginning of the Jihad, with the continuation of the Jihad, with the struggle, and with the way of the Martyrs."
In spite of significant international condemnation following Palestinian Media Watch's exposure of the Mufti's speech calling for genocide of Jews, the Mufti refused to retract the statement and Mahmoud Abbas did not remove him from office.
The following is a longer translation of the PA Mufti's ruling that Islamic law prohibits making permanent peace with Israel:
"The State of Palestine participated in the discussions of the 22nd session of the conference of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Kuwait. Palestine was represented at the meeting by the Supreme Shari'ah Judge of Palestine and President [Mahmoud Abbas'] Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, and the [PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories Sheikh Muhammad Hussein.
The meeting was held in the presence of Muslim scholars and delegations from over 46 countries... The Academy will discuss several political, economic, social and medical issues in the context of Islamic Shari'ah law... The [PA] Mufti headed a meeting under the headline 'Jerusalem: its virtues and visits to it' in which he stressed: 'The land of Palestine is waqf (inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). It must not be relinquished nor must any part of it be sold... He clarified: 'It is the duty of the leaders of the [Islamic] nation and its peoples to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem, to prevent the Judaization in it, to support its residents and strengthen them - everyone according to his ability and to the extent possible."