02 May 2018

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein has issued a decision prohibiting the sale or facilitation of sale or ownership of any properties in Jerusalem to Israel.

“Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are inalienable Islamic endowments which cannot be sold, given up or inherited and no one has the right to relinquish them,” he said.

“The waiver of Jerusalem or part of it, or part of Al-Aqsa Mosque for the enemies is just like abandonment of Mecca or Medina.”

It was the second fatwa of its kind since 2014, when Hussein reminded Muslims that it was forbidden to sell their property to Israelis after it transpired that Jewish families had purchased homes from Arabs in Silwan, outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Hussein said the transfer of ownership of Muslim-owned property to the “enemy” was illegal and “considered treason.”

Any Palestinian who sells his land to his enemy is a sinner,” the mufti ruled.

He also ruled that it was forbidden for a Palestinian to accept compensation for his or her property from the “enemy” because this would mean assisting in the “eviction” of Muslims from their homes.

The fatwa said that Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of Palestine.” Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was illegitimate and null, it added.

The fatwa is seen as a warning to the heads of Arab states against supporting Trump’s decisions and peace plan, which the Palestinians have denounced as a “conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and national rights.”

Hussein said in his fatwa: “Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque are Islamic waqf until Qiyamah. They can’t be sold or given as gifts or passed on by inheritance. No one is entitled to give them up, or to give up Jerusalem or any part of it, or any part of Al Aqsa Mosque, to the enemy.”

Israel, he charged in his decree, “usurped Palestine, expelled its people, stole their money and committed the most horrific crimes against houses of worship, all this with the help of the colonialist countries that continue to help it with its wicked aggression.”

Israel has seized large swathes of land in the area through forgery or the enactment of laws including the Absentees Property Law, a member of the Committee for the Defence of Land and Real Estate in Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab said, adding that a small percentage of land has been also been sold.

According to Abu Diab, the Israeli government and settlement associations have seized nearly 13 per cent of the town of Silwan which has an area of ​​5,640 dunums (5.6 square kilometres), mostly using the absentee property law or appropriation.

“Those who give up on Christian or Islamic properties chose to be on the occupation’s side which wants to Judaise the city of Jerusalem” he added.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre nearly 50 Jewish settlement outposts have been built in the town of Silwan, most of them in the Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood closest to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The centre told Quds Press that the outposts were seized either through confiscation, illegal seizure or under appropriation laws.