Yemen Religious Leaders Ban Ties with Israel

Published May 8th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Yemen's top religious leaders have issued an edict (fatwa) banning normalization with Israel, an apparent reaction to the government of the Arab state allowing visits by Jews of Yemeni origin.  

The Yemen Observer weekly quoted Hamoud Abbas al-Moayed, deputy Mufti of Yemen, as saying "any involvement with the Israelis is prohibited while they are at war with the Palestinians and occupying their territories."  

He said the fatwa also stipulated that all Muslims, including rulers and officials, should be aware of the dangers of "involvement with Jews" and of "their cunning plans."  

The newspaper said more than 20 Yemeni religious leaders; including the Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Zabarra -- who is the country's top religious leader -- and his deputy signed the fatwa.  

Yemen's Islamist opposition Islah party last week condemned the government for allowing Jews to visit Yemen, saying those who left the Arab state for Israel were enemies, said Reuters Monday.  

It said the decision to allow Jewish visits amounted to normalization of relations with Israel.  

Most of Yemen's 45,000 Jews were airlifted to Israel in the 1950s. Official estimates put the number of Jews still in Yemen at about 600, Reuters added - (Several Sources)  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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