Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, the preacher of al-Aqsa Mosque and former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, announced on Thursday that any Muslim who sells land or houses to Jews will be denied burial in a Muslim cemetery.
Sabri’s new fatwa (Islamic religious decree) came after 15 Jewish families moved on Thursday morning into 15 apartments in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan (Kfar HaShiloach).
The village, built on the slope descending from the Mount of Olives, includes the City of David (Ir David) archaeological site and was previously inhabited by Yemenite Jews.
The apartments were reportedly purchased by Ateret Cohanim, an organization that has long been working to expand the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem.
“Anyone who sells property to Jewish organizations will not be buried in Muslim cemeteries,” Sabri ruled.
The Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that “settlers escorted by policemen seized three buildings in the center of Silwan.”
In 2018, the present Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, issued an edict in which he warned that anyone found to have “sold, bestowed ownership or even facilitated the transfer of any part of Jerusalem or the land of Palestine to the enemies will be considered a heretic and traitor.”
The fatwa also states that Muslims should refuse to marry, attend the funeral of, allow to be buried in a Muslim cemetery or do business with any Muslim involved in real estate transactions with Jews.
On Thursday, three families from Silwan published statements in which they “disowned” their sons for their alleged involvement in the sale of the three buildings to Ateret Cohanim.