The top religious leader in the Palestinian Authority recently said it was the duty of Muslims to “liberate” Palestine from Israelis, according to to Palestinian Media Watch, an NGO that monitors Palestinian public media outlets.
Speaking at a conference of Muslim scholars from over 46 countries, according to a report in Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said last week that “the land of Palestine is Waqf (inalienable religious endowment). It must neither be relinquished, nor must any part of it be sold. It is the duty of the leaders of the (Islamic) nation and its peoples to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem.”
PMW noted that this decree effectively prohibits any Muslim from signing an accord with Israel that acknowledges the Jewish state or cedes land to it as part of a peace treaty.
Hussein was appointed in 2006 by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the position, which is the most senior religious post in the PA.
In a 2012 sermon Hussein seemed to support the killing of Jews, when he quoted an Islamic Hadith (traditional text attributed to the prophet Muhammad) according to which “The Hour (of Resurrection) will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'” He also mentioned “Jihad” and “the way of the martyrs” in the land of Palestine, in apparent support of the concepts.
In 2013 Hussein was detained by police in connection with unrest at the Temple Mount but was released without being charged.