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Jerusalem Mufti resigns from UAE peace forum over deal with Israel

Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein conducts a sermon (Khutbah) during the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 4 January 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein conducts a sermon (Khutbah) during the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 4 January 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, today announced his resignation from a UAE forum for peace after it released a statement endorsing normalisation with Israel, Wafa news agency reported.

Hussein announced in a press conference that he submitted his resignation from the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies (FPPMS), citing the forum's statement which supported the UAE agreement to normalise relations with Israel.

"This normalisation is a stab in the back of Palestinians and Muslims, and a betrayal for Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem," he said.

The FPPMS hailed the UAE-Israel deal, claiming it "stopped Israel from extending its sovereignty over Palestinian lands" and was a means to reinforce peace and dialogue among nations. However after being criticised for the statement, the body removed the statement from its platforms.

READ: UAE, Israel health ministers agree to enhance cooperation on health

While Emirati officials have hailed normalisation as a successful means to stave off Israel's illegal move to annex large swaths of the West Bank, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to the annexation plan.

The FPPMS was established in 2014 in the UAE to reinforce peace and dialogue. It is headed by the former Mauritanian politician and professor in religion and current Grand Mufti of the UAE Abdullah Bin Bayyah.

Earlier this week, Prominent Muslim American activist Aisha Al-Adawiya resigned from the FPPMS as a result of its support for the Emirates' normalisation deal with Israel.

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Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUAEUS
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