Mufti of Jerusalem Urges Islamic Summit to Boycott Israel

Published November 7th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Nabil Mulhem-Damascus 


The Mufti of Jerusalem Sheik Ikrima Sabri says he hopes the forthcoming summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will announce a boycott of Israel and prohibit the normalization of ties with the country.  

But he noted that Qatar’s insistence on maintaining relations with Israel could lead to the cancellation of the conference. 

The Mufti told in Damascus, where he is visiting at the invitation of Syria’s defense minister Mustapha Tlas, that he hopes the OIC summit will produce resolutions that are “stronger in effect than those issued by the Arab summit” held in Cairo last month. 

Sheik Ikrima refused to comment on (anti-Israel) activities and tactics of the Palestinian Islamic movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad saying as a Mufti (highest Islamic clergyman) he considers his position as above all differences and disputes. 

He said he has no political perspective regarding the planned talks in Washington between the US president Bill Clinton and the Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, stressing the need to hold fast to Palestinian fundamentals. ”There is no room for bargaining on such fundamentals, particularly in regards to Jerusalem, because all American and Israeli proposals with respect to the issue of Jerusalem and Israeli sovereignty over the city are unacceptable,” he added.  

Sheik Ikrima reiterated his rejection of any proposal that undermines the Arab sovereignty over the city. 

He told Albawaba that Israel has failed in its efforts to alter the Arab- Islamic architectural design of the mosque saying “Palestinian martyrs have offered their blood to prevent any tampering with Al-Aqsa mosque and the imposition of a de facto status on the mosque.” 

Sheik Ikrima pointed out that Israel wants to take part of the mosque to build a synagogue, and that the move of Israeli Likud party leader Ariel Sharon to storm the mosque in late September served this purpose. 

He said,”we warned Sharon and his supporters not to make any step further towards Al-Aqsa. We will defend our sacred shrines no matter what it takes”. 

He noted that the Arab church and the Islamic officials see eye to eye on the issue of the holy places. 

The Mufti of Jerusalem visited in Damascus Palestinians injured by Israeli gunfire during the Intifada, who are being treated at the Syrian Red Crescent hospital. 

Moreover, the Mufti was expected to meet Syria’s foreign minister Farouq El-Share Tuesday. He will meet the Syrian president Bashar Assad Wednesday morning – 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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