Abbas adviser: Western Wall can only remain under Muslim sovereignty

The adviser's comments came approximately a week after Jabril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, told Israel’s Channel 2 that the wall ought to remain under Jewish sovereignty.

June 10, 2017 20:50
1 minute read.
Priestly blessing at the Western Wall

Priestly blessing at the Western Wall. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Western Wall can only remain under Muslim sovereignty, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during a Friday sermon.

“It is an Islamic endowment that absolutely cannot belong to non-Muslims,” Mahmoud Habash, Abbas’s religious affairs adviser said, referring to the wall. “It is our property and endowment. It is impossible to concede one millimeter of it.”

Jews revere the wall as the remnant of a retaining wall that surrounds the site where their ancient temples once stood. Muslims regard the wall as the location where the Prophet Muhammed tethered his winged steed during his overnight journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Habash’s comments came approximately a week after Jabril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, told Israel’s Channel 2 that the wall ought to remain under Jewish sovereignty.

“In the end, it must be under Jewish sovereignty. We have no argument about that. This is a Jewish holy place,” Rajoub said, in a statement that appeared to break with the official Palestinian position.

Hamas slammed Rajoub for what it said was “an official concession of a holy, national, and historic property.”

“These positions of Fatah leaders affirm that they are moving to liquidate the Palestinian cause and concede its national and religious properties,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim said on June 4.

Rajoub subsequently attempted to walk back his statement, denying he ever said the wall must be under Jewish sovereignty.

“I said Jewish religious supervision,” Rajoub told PA television on June 6 even though he clearly stated “Jewish sovereignty” in the Channel 2 interview.

US President Donald Trump has said on multiple occasions that he wants to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. If the American leader succeeds in reviving it, Jerusalem and its holy sites will almost certainly be a major topic of discussion.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech
May 25, 2019
Nasrallah slams U.S. peace plan, calls for unified resistance