The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council called Israel a “colonialist cancer” and accused the Jewish state of attacking Palestinian “religious and national symbols” at their Aug. 30 meeting.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports that, based on reporting from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the council said there is a “danger of attacks against the religious and national symbols in occupied Jerusalem, and held the occupation government fully responsible for these violations.” The council also condemned “all types of settlement, and emphasized that the Palestinian people will not stand idly by in the face of this colonialist cancer.”
PA Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein is the leader of the council; PMW notes that Hussein is responsible for the Aug. 13 clashes at the Temple Mount because he shut down all mosques in Jerusalem that day and pushed back the second Islamic morning prayer an hour. In doing so, Hussein maximized the amount of Palestinians present at the Temple Mount when Jews entered the holy site to pray during Tisha b’Av.
Additionally, Hussein issued a fatwa (‘ruling’ in Arabic), in July 2018 declaring that Muslims selling land to Jews is a crime punishable by death, according to the Gatestone Institute. The Jerusalem Post also notes that Hussein declared in 2006 shortly after he was appointed to the role of Mufti that Palestinian suicide bombings are a “legitimate” act of “resistance” and “quoted an ancient Islamic text encouraging Muslims to kill Jews” during a 2012 PA TV broadcast.
The Gatestone Institute explains that the PA considers the Palestinian mufti as the person with “the final say on most religious and non-religious issues. In other words, the mufti’s position parallels that of a US Supreme Court judge. If the mufti issues a legal opinion or religious decree, his people and leaders are expected to abide by it.”