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PA Warns Against Qaradawi's 'Fake Palestinian Passport'

The PA urges world countries to take legal action to seize the passport given by Hamas to radical cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 5/10/2013, 10:40 PM

Hamas's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Yousef al-Qaradawi
Hamas's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Yousef al-Qaradawi
Reuters

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior put out a notice on Friday, informing countries that recognize “Palestine” that radical Muslim cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi holds a “fake” Palestinian passport, according to the Ma'an news agency.

In a letter, the ministry called on all countries to take legal action to seize the passport if it is used contrary to international law.

The passport was given to Qaradawi by Hamas’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, during the cleric’s visit to Gaza.

Qaradawi, who arrived in Gaza on Wednesday, is leading a delegation of 50 clerics from 14 countries.

Speaking on Thursday, Qaradawi said that Israel has no right to exist, adding that nobody was allowed to cede "any part of Palestine."

Haniyeh 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 told Qaradawi.

Qaradawi, who is a citizen of Qatar and close to the Muslim Brotherhood, 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."

The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday that his visit was "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.

The visit and the controversy around it highlight the ongoing row between Hamas and its rival Fatah.

The two sides have been at odds since Hamas violently took over control of Gaza in 2007. A reconciliation agreement signed in 2011 has yet to be implemented.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)