The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories has issued a fatwa prohibiting Emirati citizens from visiting Al Aqsa Mosque.
Mufti Muhammad Hussein’s fatwa says that prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque “are not for those who have normalised” with the Israeli occupation, in reference to the recent UAE-Israel peace deal.
The Mufti also said that anyone who wants to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque must pass through the Palestinian Authority or the Jordanian government and not through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
He said: “We affirm that prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque is open to anyone who comes from the legitimate Palestinian gate, or through the sisterly Jordanian government which is the guardian of the Islamic holy sites in Al-Quds Al-Sharif.”
He added that praying at Al-Aqsa “is not for one who normalises and uses this issue as a means to deal with the sinful Deal of the Century, and normalisation is one of the manifestations of this deal, and everything that came through it is forbidden, void and forbidden by law because it means abandoning Jerusalem, which the Deal of the Century considers the capital of the (Zionist) entity…
“The blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is for Muslims alone, and no one will be allowed to give up a grain of dirt from it, neither from near nor from afar.”
The Mufti’s statement emphasised the requirement to refuse to recognise the occupation of Palestinian land, Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to avoid normalising Muslim relations with the occupation “which captures our land, our people, our Jerusalem.”
The statement concluded that any visit to Palestinian land should be an affirmation of its Arab and Islamic identity, a rejection of the occupation and a support to those who seek liberation.
The UAE has justified its peace deal with Israel by saying that it has prevented Israel from annexing more of the West Bank, claims which Palestinians have rejected.
Abu Dhabi says that mutual tourism will follow the normalisation of relations including allowing Emiratis to pray at Masjid Al Aqsa, the third holiest site for Muslims in the world.