The Palestinian Authority’s Grand Mufti on Thursday issued a fatwa banning Muslims from taking advantage of the normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to travel to Israel and pray at Jerusalem al-Aqsa Mosque. 

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein told the Palestinian Authority’s official TV channel that it is now forbidden for Muslims to take a United Arab Emirates flight, or indeed any flight, to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, “in order to come and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is false marketing in terms of religious law, legally false, religiously offensive.”

The following day, Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency reported: “Sheikh Muhammad Hussein issued a fatwa (religious ruling) determining that praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE is ‘forbidden.’ Hussein said that… ‘Praying at the Aqsa Mosque is open to all those who arrive through the legal Palestinian gate, and not to those who carry out normalization.’”

Palestinian leaders have reacted angrily to the historic peace agreement between Israel and the UAE.

President Mahmoud Abbas branded it a “stab in the back,” while senior negotiator Saeb Erekat said it spelled the death knell for the two-state solution to the conflict. 

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