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Radical Muslim Cleric in Gaza: 'Palestine' Was Never Jewish

Israel has no right to exist, says Yusuf al-Qaradawi during a visit to Gaza.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/10/2013, 4:13 AM

Celebration in Gaza
Celebration in Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel has no right to exist, a radical Muslim cleric visiting Gaza declared on Thursday, encouraging rocket attacks on the Jewish State.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi warned that nobody was allowed to cede "any part of Palestine" during his visit to the Hamas-controlled region, according to AFP.

"No one is allowed to give up any part of Palestine," the Egyptian-born Qardawi said during a meeting with Gaza’s prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and members of the government.

Qaradawi, who is a citizen of Qatar and close to the Muslim Brotherhood, was heading of a delegation of 50 clerics from 14 countries.

"Palestine was never Jewish," he said. "Palestine is Arab and Muslim and will remain Arab and Muslim, and Islam will prevail."

“The rockets made in Gaza are more powerful than the occupation’s rockets,” added Qardawi.

Haniyeh, who handed Qaradawi a “Palestinian” passport, reaffirmed that his would "never give up or recognize Israel."

"We will not give up our rights, we will never give up an inch of Palestine and won't allow anyone to cede a grain of Palestinian land," he said, according to AFP.

Qaradawi, who arrived in Gaza on Wednesday, in the past provided the religious sanction for the suicide bombing campaign against Israel. In January 2009 he claimed that Hitler had put the Jews in their place and that the Holocaust was "divine punishment."

His visit to Gaza was condemned by the Palestinian Authority, which said such visits were "harmful to the Palestinian people.”

"The Palestinian Authority's position has been clear; each visit of political significance which gives legitimacy to Hamas' rule in Gaza is harmful to the Palestinian people and their interests," PA minister of endowment Mahmoud al-Habbash said, according to PA-based Ma’an news agency.

"Al-Qaradawi should have taken back the Fatwa he issued considering visits to Jerusalem by Muslims illegal according to the Islamic law because the holy city is under occupation," al-Habbash told Ma'an.