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  31th January 2015    Time 23:05 Jerusalem (update): Israel arrests 5 in West Bank, Businessmen at Gaza Crossing      Egypt Condemns New Israeli Settlement Construction Tenders      Sick Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails Denied Medical Treatment      Israeli Navy Targets Palestinian Fishermen Offshore Gaza      Newspaper Review: New Settlement Tenders, President’s Remarks at African Union’s Summit Focus of Dailies      Settlers Cut Down Palestinian-Owned Trees near Hebron      Weather Forecast: Pleasant Temperatures Until Wednesday      Japan Grants $100,000 to Bethlehem Water Network Rehabilitation       EU Delegation Hails PA’s Accession to Rome Statute      Government Borrows from Banks to Pay 60% of Public Servants’ January Wages      Israel Sentences 13 Minors to Months in Jail, Pay Fines      Newspapers Review: Israel-Hezbollah Flare Up Focus of Dailies      Israeli Army Destroys Water Line in Jordan Valley      Israeli Navy Attacks Fishermen with Live Fire off Gaza      Israeli Army Arrests 8 in West Bank
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Official Calls to Overturn Fatwa on Visiting Jerusalem

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RAMALLAH, February 28, 2012 (WAFA) - Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash Tuesday called on the Islamic scholar and theologian Yusuf Qaradawi to overturn a religious ruling (fatwa) he had earlier issued prohibiting non-Palestinians from visiting Jerusalem as long as it is occupied by Israel.

Habbash stressed in a statement that Qaradawi’s fatwa contradicts Islamic teachings and provides a free service to the Israeli occupation that aims to isolate Jerusalem from its Arab and Islamic surroundings.

Qaradawi issued a fatwa prohibiting non-Palestinians, whether they were Muslims or not, from visiting Jerusalem while it is occupied under the pretext it is “a form of normalization of relations with Israel.”

Habbash's call came after President Mahmoud Abbas had urged at the Doha conference on Jerusalem, which ended Monday, Muslims and Christians everywhere to visit Jerusalem in order to see for themselves the Israeli violations in the holy city and to affirm its Arab Muslim and Christian heritage and ties.

Habbash stressed that the visits to Jerusalem will defy Israeli policies in the occupied city and show support for its Palestinian residents.

R.Q./M.S.

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