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Jerusalem under assault
Jerusalem is "land of Ribat" - holy Islamic land
Jerusalem under assault
In 2009 the Palestinian Authority has initiated an unprecedented campaign of historical revision and anti-Israel libels concerning Jerusalem, the focal point being the erasure and denial of 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem.

In addition, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel is acting both to expel Arabs from Jerusalem and to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jerusalem libels are designed to evoke religious hatred by portraying Israel and the Jews as a threat to Arabs and Islam.

This section documents the recent intensification of the Palestinian Authority's campaign of distortion, historical revision and hate incitement surrounding Jerusalem.

This cartoon with the caption "Judaization of Jerusalem" shows, from right to left, a sinister-looking Jew first sharing the chair with an Arab and then shoving him off.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, official PA daily, Feb 24, 2009]
Jerusalem is "land of Ribat" - holy Islamic land
The Palestinian Authority has adopted the Hamas ideology of framing the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah. Jerusalem and all of Israel are defined as "Ribat" - holy Islamic land - whose "liberation" and defense are said to be mandatory under Islamic law. The significance of the PA defining the conflict as “Ribat” is clear when reading how a PA schoolbook defines “Ribat":

"The Ribat for Allah is one of the actions related to Jihad ...The persistence of Palestine's people on their land in these days [i.e., Israel], and their persistence against the damage and the aggression they endure - is one of the greatest of the Ribat [fighting for Islamic land], and they are worthy of a great reward from Allah.... they are found in Ribat until Resurrection." [Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86-87]

Since 2008, Palestinian leaders have frequently defined all of Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, as land of "Ribat" - i.e., areas which Muslims have a religious obligation to defend and liberate for Islam. In the past, it was specifically Hamas that defined the conflict with Israel as a religious war. Now, the PA - Fatah leadership regularly presents its war against Israel as a religious battle for Islam.
PA Minister of Religion: Palestine is “the land of the Ribat fighters” 
Source: The Voice of Palestine, official PA radio station, Aug. 8, 2013
Eid El Fitr [holiday] sermon by PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash. He talks of 26 prisoners that were imprisoned before the Oslo Accords and who are about to be released in a goodwill gesture by Israel in August 2013:
     “In a few days, those of whom it was said that they would never leave prison – those who sat for decades in the occupation’s prisons, 20 years, more than 20 years, and some of them 30 years in the occupation’s prisons, so that people of little faith who don’t believe in themselves, in their people and in their leadership, thought the [prisoners] would never see sunlight of freedom – yet here they are, about to leave, about to touch freedom, embrace freedom in the land of freedom, in the land of the free, the land of the honored, the land of the Ribat fighters (Arabic: Murabitun, people carrying our Ribat – religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic), the land of Jerusalem and Jerusalem’s surroundings.”

Note: Click “full article” below to view a longer excerpt of the sermon.
PA TV sermon calls for “men, women, youth, and elders” to engage in Ribat to “restore Jerusalem” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 7, 2013
PA TV broadcast of the Friday sermon from the Al-Tashrifat Mosque in the presidential compound. Sermon delivered by Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
     “How can we restore Jerusalem, how can we restore Jerusalem if we will not be the soldiers, if we will not be the ones who conduct Ribat (religious conflict/war defending Islamic land), if we will not be the ones who conduct Ribat over Jerusalem’s soil, if the nation will not join its leaders, its clerics, people, leaders, men, women, youth and elders? If it [the nation] will not come to Jerusalem, then Jerusalem will be lost.”
PA Sheikh calls for people to go to Al-Aqsa Mosque and “perform Ribat” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 27, 2013
During Passover 2013, member of Israeli Parliament Moshe Feiglin sought to visit the Temple Mount. The PA daily portrayed his intention to visit the site as a “call to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque”:
     “National personalities and unofficial activists denounced Israeli Parliament member Moshe Feiglin’s call to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque today to mark the Hebrew Passover holiday. Member of the PLO Executive Committee and Head of PLO department of Jerusalem Affairs, Ahmed Qurei ‘Abu Alaa’ warned of the consequences of these recurring attacks and of the racist calls to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said that the almost daily invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque…and the call to build the alleged Temple testify to a dangerous Judaizing plot which puts Jerusalem in real danger, therefore it is necessary to work seriously and decisively to end these gross violations and the uncaring policy adopted by Netanyahu’s most extreme and racist government.
Yusuf Ida'is, President of the Supreme Islamic Court and Chairman of the Supreme Council of Islamic Law, called on our people wherever they may be found – especially the residents of Jerusalem and the land occupied in 1948 (i.e. Israel) – to head towards the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and perform constant Ribat (religious conflict/war defending Islamic land) to protect it. This was in response to Feiglin’s call. He put full responsibility for the crimes against the holy city and its holy sites on the Israeli occupation government. Sheikh Ida’is emphasized that the Israeli occupation government, including all its different branches, continues its attempts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites. He made it clear that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in grave danger because of the unceasing excavations underneath it and the recurring invasion of herds of settlers.”
Fatah official Abbas Zaki: Palestinians are “the nation of Ribat” 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Jan. 16, 2013
PA TV's Topic of the Day interviewed Abbas Zaki, member of Fatah's Central Committee, about the anniversary of Abu Iyad's assassination. Zaki also spoke about historic ties between Christianity and Islam.
     Abbas Zaki: "This is what is written in the Quran. That we are the nation of Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic), the nation of Jihad. All the world's Christians – who are now running after Israel – all of them know that Jesus was a Palestinian and that the Church of the Resurrection (i.e., the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem) and the Gethsemane Church are Palestinian. And praying Muslims didn't pray until after Muhammad made the Night Journey from the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) to the Distant Mosque (Al-Aqsa, in Arabic) and ascended to heaven and descended and prayed with the prophets. And we and the Christians [are bound by] the Pact of Omar, and the time has come for Muslims to wake up. They have no prayer if they abandon Jerusalem."

Note: The Pact of Omar was a seventh century treaty between Muslims and Christians that gave some degree of religious freedom to Christians and Jews as Dhimmis, as long as they abided by certain laws and restrictions.
PA minister: Continue Ribat and Jihad until Jerusalem is returned 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 21, 2012
PA TV broadcast the Friday sermon delivered by PA Minister for Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash at the Tashrifat Mosque in the PA presidential compound, Ramallah on Dec. 21, 2012. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Secretary General of his office, Al-Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, were in the congregation.
     Habbash: “We say to the whole world, we say to the occupation government, to whoever supports the occupation government to whoever defends the occupation government in international forums: As Allah lives, we are continuing what we do; we are continuing our Ribat (religious conflict to defend Islamic land). We are continuing our Jihad. We are continuing with our resolve. We are continuing to hold on, until Allah grants us victory, until Allah grants victory to our cause, until our Jerusalem is returned to us, until our state is established, or until we die. As Allah lives, this is one of two good things: Victory or Shahada (Martyrdom death for Allah). There is no third option. Either victory or Martyrdom death.”
PA Minister of Religious Affairs encourages Ribat in Friday sermon 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 17, 2012
Friday sermon delivered by Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash. In audience: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas; Secretary General of the Presidential Office, Al-Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim; Jibril Rajoub.
     Al-Habbash: "This [Al-Aqsa] mosque will remain a mosque. We will not abandon this soil; we will not abandon this land; we will not abandon this mosque. We will remain in it, we will live in it and we will die in it. We will resist through our presence upon our land. We will resist through Ribat (religious conflict/war to defend Islamic land) and resolve; we will resist by building, and we will resist by every means... Ribat upon this land is an honor… Yesterday, this occupation perpetrated a crime. It was carried out by one of the members of the terror movements, who are referred to as the so-called 'settlers'. These settlers are all – all of them – terrorists; terrorists in the full sense of the word. Every settler who lives upon Palestinian land, who steals Palestinian land, is a terrorist."
Mufti of Jerusalem praises calls “to maintain Ribat (religious conflict/war defending Islamic land)” in Jerusalem 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 13, 2012
     "The Mufti of Jerusalem and speaker at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, praised the residents' response to calls to come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to maintain Ribat (religious conflict/war) in its pure plazas in order to defend it. His honor [Hussein] appealed yesterday to the Ribat fighters in the Al-Aqsa plazas and emphasized that the practical response to the threats of the occupation and the extremist Jewish right-wing against the Al-Aqsa Mosque is to remain there, in large numbers… The Ribat fighters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque squares yesterday sounded shouts of 'Allah Akbar'… Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said in an announcement: 'The Netanyahu government is pushing the region towards a religious struggle whose results no one can gauge…' A press release said: 'Israel knows well that there will be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem, and that the Palestinian leadership has proved to everyone that there will be no solution or stability without the liberation of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli occupation… We have sacrificed thousands of Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and injured people in the Al-Aqsa Intifada (the PA terror campaign, 2000-2005), which was kindled by the will of [former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel] Sharon to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We are prepared to defend Al-Aqsa with our lives.'"
Fatah official: "Allah has given us the honor of being in Ribat (religious conflict) until the Day of Judgment" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 18, 2011
PA TV live broadcast of third day of Palestine Popular Resistance Conference. Live broadcast from town Budrus in Ramallah district close to the security fence. Panel on national unity and popular resistance.
Member of the Fatah Central Committee, Sultan Abu Al-Einein:

     "I say on your (the audience’s) behalf: Praise to Allah who has given us the honor of being in Ribat (religious conflict/war) until the Day of Judgment.
[He then quotes the hadith about Ribat of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and its environs.] And we claim this honor, for indeed we are in Ribat.
[He then talks about national unity, says Fatah refused to use arms against Hamas members. And later he talks about the need for national unity between Fatah and Hamas before appealing to UN in September:]
Brothers and sisters – Khansas of Palestine (i.e., Al-Khansa was a 7th century poet, honored in Islamic tradition for celebrating her four sons' deaths in battle)…
We can apply to the UN to issue by force the birth certificate which has been withheld from the Palestinian people for the past 62 years, while a birth certificate was issued to the Israeli enemy from the same place [the UN] to which we have decided to apply in September."

Note: Al-Khansa - an Arab woman and poet from the earliest period of Islam (7th century) famous and honored in Islamic tradition for sending her four sons to battle and rejoiced when they all died as Martyrs. She has been lauded by the PA and often presented as a role model for mothers.

PA daily columnist: "Emphasize the greatness of Ribat and Martyrdom" in Jerusalem 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 24, 2011
Headline: “In the shadow of Muhammad’s night journey”
     “An anniversary dear to our hearts awaits us – the date of Muhammad’s night journey, which the Prophet experienced both spiritually and physically, in order to confirm for us the sanctity of blessed Palestine by means of Ribat upon it. It was Allah’s will that the place of this tremendous sign should be Jerusalem. This is clear proof, so that every Muslim can know with certainty the significance of unity and Ribat and the connection between the parts of the land of Islam [Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem]. With the advent of this anniversary which we are about to have [of the Night Journey], there is no choice but to emphasize the following points:
1. The land of Palestine is a single land that cannot be divided, no matter what the circumstances…
2. To emphasize the greatness of Ribat and Martyrdom upon the land of the Resurrection.”
Sheikh in PA daily: Conflict "between us and the Jews" is about "faith and existence," not land 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2011
Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel teaches religion:
     "The old-new despicable plot: The struggle between truth and falsehood is as ancient as life upon this earth... yet the mighty Islam, from the breaking of its dawn and the spreading of its light up until our time, has been targeted by its enemies, who do not agree on anything as they agree on cultivating evil against Islam and uprooting Muslims. The challenge still exists; moreover, the enemies have announced in a clear and provocative manner their despicable and terrible plot. Sixty-three years ago, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, stood at the UN after the entire world granted recognition to the malignant cancerous growth known as the State of Israel... The Prime Minister of this destructive cancerous growth stood up to declare the religion of the Jews in Palestine to the entire world. I hope that the [Islamic] nation will study this faith in order to know with certainty that the Jews talk, in conferences and in negotiations, only through their distorted, corrupted, falsified religion which they have adopted, which they glorify and honor, and they are lying when they deny the owner of the right the right... And the conflict between us and the Jews is not a conflict about land and borders, but rather a conflict about faith and existence."
Click to view bulletin
Hamas leader says Jerusalem is occupied Islamic land whose liberation is at hand 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 9, 2011
Headline: “Al-Zahar warns: We will turn the Knesset plaza into Tahrir Square”
     “Mahmoud Al-Zahar, senior Hamas leader, threatened to turn the plaza of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) into ‘Tahrir Square’ (i.e. square in Cairo where Egyptian demonstrations against leadership took place). He said that he believed the liberation of Jerusalem to be near. Participating in the Jerusalem Conference in the Sudanese capital, Al-Zahar said: ‘The liberation of Palestine is a Quranic fact…’
At the closing session of the Jerusalem International Institution’s eighth conference in the capital [of Sudan], Khartoum, two nights ago, Al-Zahar added: ‘We emphasize that we do not intend to give up until the flag [with the slogan] ‘There is no God but Allah’ is raised over all of the occupied Islamic land and oppression is removed from upon it.’ He continued: ‘We emphasize that the liberation of Jerusalem is closer than people think…’ Al-Zahar greeted the residents of Jerusalem ‘from whom emerged the great man Sheikh Raed Salah, the chief defender of Palestine and Jerusalem. At the same time, he greeted the residents of the West Bank.
He also greeted Gaza, ‘which lost its sons and daughters, but still grasps its weapons.’ [He said,] ‘They will enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque and turn the plaza of the Zionist Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) into the next Tahrir Square, Allah willing.’”
Mufti of Jerusalem: "Carry out Ribat" to stop "Israeli attacks and Judaization" of Jerusalem 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 17, 2011
Headline: “Our people’s religious leaders are calling for help in order to save Jerusalem”
     “The office of the Chief Religious Justice of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice held a press conference yesterday at the governmental information center at the Ministry of Information in Ramallah, in which speakers addressed the Israeli violations against the city of Jerusalem and the sites holy to Islam and to Christianity. [...] Attending the press conference were Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice, Sheikh Yusuf Ida'is; Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein; and Deputy Minister of Christian Religious Affairs, Hanna Issa, and representatives of the local, Arab, and world media. [...]
Sheikh Hussein […] noted that in recent years Israel has built 65 synagogues inside the holy city, the latest being the “Hurva” synagogue. The Israelis were optimistic that this would be a prelude to the establishment of the alleged Temple…
Sheikh Hussein noted that several things must be done to stop the Israeli attacks and Judaization, including visiting the holy city, carrying out Ribat within it, and exposing Israeli actions."
PA daily: Muslims must "carry out the Ribat until Allah's victory comes" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 17, 2010
Headline: “Protection of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and support of the people living in its vicinity are religious obligations [obligatory] for every Arab and Muslim”
     “Oh believing brothers throughout the world – in these fateful days which befall the Palestinian people remaining resolute upon the land of Ribat, it is obligatory for every Arab and Muslim to lend material and moral support to our Palestinian people, for protection for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and those who live in its vicinity…
Still their [Israelis’ – Ed.] despicable conspiracies continue, as embodied in excavations, Judaization of the land, theft of identities and temptations which they offer to our people in exchange for their leaving the land. … The land of Palestine and Syria is the land of Ribat, and it is the fortified barrier behind which the Arabs and Muslims stand in order to fight against their enemies. If the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the land of Palestine are abandoned [and left] without defense, the danger will encompass all Islamic lands, because the enemies’ aim is not to rule over Al-Aqsa alone; rather, they believe that if Al-Aqsa and the place to which Muhammad journeyed are treated lightly by Arabs and Muslims, then they will treat their faith lightly. We must all continue to adhere to our faith and to carry out the Ribat until Allah’s victory comes, for ‘Allah’s victory is close for the believers’.”
Senior Fatah official: Jihad on [Jerusalem's] behalf is a personal religious commandment 
Source: Palvoice website (Fatah), Dec. 15, 2010
     "Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee and General Commissioner for Arab Relations, called for an Islamic summit conference to be held immediately for the city of Jerusalem… He emphasized that the summit would need to establish the stance of the Islamic states towards Jerusalem, ‘since it is not only ours, but [belongs to] all Muslims, and is in grave danger.’
Zaki said, in announcements to the press, that ‘the struggle and the Jihad for the liberation of Jerusalem are not the job of the Palestinians alone; it is the job of all Muslims and all believers and all who are loyal and who bear the faith, and Jihad on [Jerusalem’s] behalf is a personal religious commandment (i.e. incumbent on every individual) [fard ayn] and not [merely] a communal religious commandment, especially in the shadow of the threat to the holy city and its inhabitants, coming from the occupiers who are acting to change its Arabic and Islamic landmarks…’
PA Minister of Religious Affairs: Jerusalem and surroundings are "land of Ribat" 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 27, 2010
     “We come to you from there – from Jerusalem and from the Jerusalem surroundings, from the land of Ribat [religious war], the land which Allah blessed forever… Today the Palestinian people in Jerusalem stand alone. They want to see the Arabs and the Muslims at their side; they want to see all the Arabs and all the Muslims coming to Jerusalem, emphasizing its status and its identity, and telling the usurpers (i.e., Israel): ‘You have no place here.’ Telling the occupiers, ‘This is not your place, but ours. This is not your city, but ours.’ Our religion demands this. Our faith demands this of us.”
Senior PA religious official: Religious war in Jerusalem must continue 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 17, 2010
     “Preacher in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and First Deputy of the Chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, Sheikh Yousuf Jum’a Salameh, participated in the international congress organized by the Muslim World League in Mecca… Sheikh Salameh delivered a speech at the congress in which he explained what is happening in Jerusalem: … [including] excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque and an attempt to divide it and to destroy it in order to build the alleged so-called Temple in its place. Sheikh Salameh called upon Muslims to oppose these Israeli steps and to act to stop them. He said that the residents of Jerusalem must be helped to continue the Ribat [religious war] over their land, since they contend with these Israeli measures daily, on behalf of the Arabic and Islamic nation.”
Former PA Chief Religious Justice: All land in Jerusalem is holy Islamic trust that must be defended 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 9, 2010
     “Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, former [PA] Chief Justice of the religious court of Palestine and Chairman of the Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem and the Holy Places, said that all land (and structures) in the city of Jerusalem are Islamic trusts… He demanded of the Arab and Islamic nation, including its leaders and its people, to fulfill their obligation in defending Jerusalem and its holy places, which are subject to extensive Judaizing and Israelizing activities through confiscation of its land and extensive establishment of settlements upon it. He also called upon them to support its [Arab] citizens… in order to oppose the plans of the Israeli occupation authorities, which aim to force [Muslims] to leave and to expel them by carrying out acts of suppression and crimes of ethnic cleansing, with flagrant violation of all the laws of monotheistic religions as well as all international laws and covenants.”
PA official: Palestinians are "carrying out Ribat" in Jerusalem 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 14, 2010
     “Director of the Religious Affairs department in Tubas, Sheikh Muhammad Jihad Al-Kilani ... emphasized that the occupation’s plans are doomed to failure, and that our people, which is standing firm and carrying out Ribat [religious war], will [continue to] stand firm, putting down roots in its land and clinging to its principles and the capital of its state, Jerusalem. He added that regardless of how hard the occupation tries, and what tools it uses, Jerusalem will continue to rebel against the erasing [of its identity], the Judaization... Maisar Al-Nabwani, director of the General Directorate for Women’s Action [in the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs], emphasized in a speech she delivered in the Nablus district… that Jerusalem is a completely Islamic city...”
PA Mufti: Muslims must carry out Ribat to protect Al-Aqsa 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 26, 2010
PA Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, in sermon in the Al-Aqsa Mosque:
     "The Al-Aqsa Mosque is threatened by the plans of the enemies of Allah [the Jews], who have violated all faith and religious laws, and even deviated from their humanity… Oh Muslims, oh people of Ribat (i.e., religious war) in Jerusalem and its environs, oh beloved of Allah's Messenger, you have come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque under circumstances that require you to carry out Ribat in it [the Al-Aqsa Mosque]... Safeguard the unity of your people, safeguard the unity of your Word [Islam], so that you will be worthy to carry out the Ribat in this land and worthy of the badge of honor of protecting and preserving the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Abbas: Allah commands us to save holy Jerusalem from Israel 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Mar. 27, 2010
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, addressing the leaders of Arab countries at the Arab League summit in Libya, on March 27, 2010:
     “I say to the leaders of our Arab nation and to its peoples: Jerusalem and its environs are a trust that Allah entrusted to us. Saving it [Jerusalem] from the settlement monster and the danger of Judaization and [land-] confiscation, is a personal commandment incumbent on all of us. Therefore I call upon all of you to serious and urgent action to save [Jerusalem] and to supply all capabilities in order to strengthen our steadfastness and to maintain its historical, cultural and religious character.” Click here to view
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