Hebrew U Debate Canceled Amid Death Threats to Participating Palestinian Official

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

A debate between a senior Palestinian Authority official and an Israeli parliamentarian at Hebrew University of Jerusalem was canceled due to death threats against the PA representative.

A debate featuring Dr. Mahmoud al-Habbash, Supreme Shari’ah Judge for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Israeli parliamentarian Ofer Shelah of the Yesh Atid party was canceled at the last minute on Tuesday afternoon amid reports that threats were made to the PA official’s life.

The event was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. According to the Institute’s director, Menachem Blondheim, PA security forces notified the university immediately before the event that death threats were made to al-Habbash’s life.

Blondheim told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the PA security forces who notified the university did not specify from whom they received the threats, nor did they specify from which side.

Blondheim expressed disappointment, given the investment and effort involved. Nevertheless, he emphasized that peace remained the ultimate goal and that the university would continue to pursue efforts to create a climate of mutual understanding.

“In principle, nothing will change, and our efforts to maintain a deeper understanding between the sides will continue,” Blondheim said.

Al-Habbash, however, has stated opposition to the two-state solution on several occasions, presenting all of Israel as Islamic territory and stressing the prohibition under Islamic law from accepting Israel’s existence in any borders. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Habbash has preached anti-Semitism in sermons broadcast on official PA television, saying that Jews are the devils and that Israel is “Satan’s project,” as well as praising Palestinian terrorists as holy martyrs.

By: TPS and United with Israel Staff

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Source: United with Israel