Foreign Policy Blogs

Palestinian Authority Forbids Peace with Israel


Abu Mazen’s Adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs stressed that it is not only against Hamas’ ideology but also that of the Palestinian Authority to sign any peace agreement with Israel.

According to a report in Palestinian Media Watch, Abu Mazen’s Adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al Habbash made at least three statements in recent weeks showing that the Palestinian Authority agrees with the Hamas ideology that all of the State of Israel, including areas within the green line, is Islamic Waqf land that legally cannot be renounced as part of any peace agreement. Palestinian Media Watch noted that such a designation forbids any peace agreement to be reached with Israel.

Al Habbash told Al Hayat Al Jadida: “The entire land of Palestine is [Islamic] waqf and is blessed land. It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it.” He added on PA TV: “All this [Western Wall and Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza] is waqf and kharaj land (i.e., land belonging to Muslims) and no one is permitted to sell it or negotiate over it or forfeit it,” he emphasized. “It is ours and will remain ours. The occupation [Israel] is the one that will leave.”

“The Palestinian national reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] – how long will arguments and struggles over matters concerning the interests of the Palestinian people, and especially the Gaza Strip, continue,” he pondered on PA TV. “What are we [Fatah and Hamas] divided about? Do we disagree about Jerusalem, for example? [Do we] disagree about liberating Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea? Disagree about what? What do they disagree about? About a minister responsible for a certain area, about a clerk who needs a job? Issues like these, my brothers, the things, for Allah’s sake, all these small issues are meaningless compared to the interests of the public.”

These recent statements made by Abu Mazen’s Adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs are very similar to statements made in the Hamas Charter. According to Article 11 of Hamas Charter, “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.”

Due to the above passage in the Hamas Charter, the terror group stresses that based on their religious convictions, they can never sign any peace treaty with Israel; they can only sign a hudna (ceasefire). Now, it appears that the Palestinian Authority shares this conviction. Abu Mazen stated himself in 2009, “There is no disagreement between us [Fatah and Hamas]: About belief? None! About policy? None! About resistance? None! So what do you [Hamas] disagree about? Why are you not signing the [reconciliation] agreement?”



Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the editor of the Economic Peace Center, which was established by Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel's Communication, Cyber and Satellite Minister. For close to a decade, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.