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Controversial UAE cleric apologises to Israelis for past remarks

Emirati preacher of Jordanian origin, Wasim Yousef, 18 August 2020 [waseem_yousef/Twitter]
Emirati preacher of Jordanian origin, Wasim Yousef, 18 August 2020 [waseem_yousef/Twitter]

An Emirati preacher of Jordanian origin, Wasim Yousef, has apologised to Israelis for hateful remarks issued by him in the past.

"When I saw some Palestinians burn my country's flag because of the peace treaty with Israel, I decided to apologise to every Israeli man if I had offended him in the past," Yousef wrote on Twitter.

"The Emirati people were so happy with the agreement [for normalisation with Israel], they forgot about the coronavirus pandemic," Yousef claimed, adding that "the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Fatah and [Islamic] Jihad have been trading in the Palestinian cause for 70 years, and now time has come for peace and an end to the death dealers and thieves of money and donations."

Yousef's tweets sparked widespread controversy, especially after he claimed that the conflict between Arabs and Israel is purely religious.

READ: Thousands protest UAE-Israel peace deal in Pakistan

Social media users were quick to respond to his claims, explaining that Arabs and Muslims do not have a problem with Judaism, and their only problem is with the Zionist occupation.

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

However, Netanyahu repeated yesterday that annexation is not off the table, but has been delayed.

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUAE
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