In preparation for the upcoming visit of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) Minister for Religious Affairs, Mahmoud al-Habash, to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, researchers at Palestinian Media Watch have put together a number of quotes from the man.
During the event, which many have been demanding be canceled, al-Habash will take part in a panel along with MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid).
At the beginning of the current wave of terror, the minister gave a sermon on official PA television, in which he said that Jews represent "evil," "lies, " and "Satans," and that Israel is "Satan's project."
"The conflict taking place here in Palestine, between us and the criminal occupation and the criminal leadership is another expression of our past experiences, another expression of the historical conflict between truth and lies, between good and evil. Throughout history, there has been a conflict between good and evil. The good is represented by the prophets and their supporters, and the evil is represented by the 'iblees' [demons] – the Satans and their supporters. We are not making up something new here. This is a conflict between two entities, the good and the evil. A conflict between two projects: Allah's project against Satan's project, a project connected to Allah and Allah's will – truth and goodness, and a project connected to oppression, Satanism, hostility, occupation and barbarity," said the PA minister.
When speaking about the Land of Israel, he declared it is holy land that belongs to Islam, according to Muslim law, without the possibility of change or transferring to others. He said the meaning of this is that the Palestinians are prevented, by Islamic law, from accepting the existence of Israel regardless of its borders, and they are forbidden from giving up "Greater Palestine" – "not even a millimeter of it." These comments match up with expressions by Hamas members who wrote in their charter that "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is Islamic Waqf land for the generations of Muslims until Judgment Day. It is forbidden to neglect it or a part of it; it is forbidden to give it up or part of it."
Among al-Habash's quotes are also legitimizations for terrorists who murdered Israelis during the ongoing wave of terror. He called them "more dignified than us" and presented them as "shahids," [martyrs] the highest term of praise in Islam. PMW added that, during a similar wave of terror in 2014, al-Habash explicitly said that the PA administration supports terror attacks.
PMW emphasizes that this expression of shahids is meaningful and critical in light of the Muslim attitude towards those who are so labeled. It is written in the Quran that "After prophecy and righteousness there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada [Martyrdom]" and "Say not of those who are slain in the way of God: 'They are dead.' Nay, they are living, though ye perceive [it] not."
During his comments, al-Habash rejected accusations that the PA is guilty of incitement. "Some accuse us of inciting against others. What incitement? We are inciting? … If, when they say 'inciting,' they mean our insistence on maintaining our principles, and our appreciation and respect and gratitude towards those who are more dignified than we are, the shahids who fall in defense of Palestine – if this is what they call incitement – then I do not denounce these attitudes, I am not ashamed of them, I do not concede them and I do not retreat from them. Indeed – we cling to our right, our land, our holy ones, our Jerusalem, and our al-Aqsa… We adhere to our right to defend ourselves."