Last week we noted how BBC reporting on the Abraham Accords has concealed from audience view the more extreme reactions of Palestinian officials to those normalisation agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Among the negative reactions were statements made by Palestinian Authority religious officials.
“Mahmoud al-Habbash, chairman of the PA Supreme Council for Sharia Justice, stated on official PA television on Aug. 15 that normalization with Israel/Jews means “that you agree to natural relations with the enemies of Prophet Muhammad,” Palestinian Media Watch reported on Wednesday.
Habbash further stated that any non-Palestinian Muslim coming to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque via the terms of the UAE-Israeli agreement is “unwanted” in the PA and will be met with contempt.
PA Grand Mufti and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council chairman Muhammad Hussein went further and issued a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) that forbids Muslims who come via the UAE following the peace deal with Israel to pray at Al-Aqsa, according to the report.”
“A recent visit by Gulf Arabs to al-Aqsa Mosque has sparked outrage among east Jerusalem residents and the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction, who accused the visitors of promoting normalization with Israel and “desecrating” the holy site. […]
Eyewitnesses said the Emirati delegation entered al-Aqsa compound “under Israeli police protection.” The delegation consisted of nine men and one woman, they said, adding that the Wakf Department was not notified in advance of the visit.
Shadi Mtour, a Fatah leader from east Jerusalem, accused the Gulf visitors of “storming al-Aqsa Mosque,” a phrase regularly used by Palestinians to describe tours by Jews to the Temple Mount.
Mtour said the visit “was not different from the repeated incursions of the occupation soldiers and settlers, who desecrate al-Aqsa under the protection of the occupation soldiers…” […]
During the visit, the police detained three Muslim worshipers who chanted slogans denouncing the Emirati visitors… […]
Many Palestinians also took to various social media platforms to denounce the Emirati delegation for visiting and praying at al-Aqsa, especially under the protection of the Israel police. They accused the delegation members of “desecrating” the mosque and called for replacing the carpets where the visitors prayed.”
The Times of Israel reported that the PA prime minister also made his view clear:
“Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the visit of the Emiratis, calling it “saddening.”
“One ought to enter the gates of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by way of its owners, rather than through the gates of the occupation,” Shtayyeh said in a statement on Monday.”
In line with its policy to date, the BBC has not informed its audiences of the chauvinist Palestinian reactions to a visit by Muslims to a site it regularly describes as the third holiest site in Islam.