French imam visits Samaria settlements, blasts BDS movement

A joint delegation of sheikhs from France and Israel visit Samaria: 'To expand and deepen the dialogue.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Imam Hassan Shalghumi,  Yossi Dagan and Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi.
Imam Hassan Shalghumi, Yossi Dagan and Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi.
Credit: Roi Hadi

Dozens of Muslim leaders, led by Iman Hassan Shalghoumi, head of the Imams Conference in France, visited the Barkan industrial zone in Samaria on Friday.

The extraordinary delegation met with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi of Ramallah, as part of the international hasbara (public relations efforts) activities of the Samaria Council and the Elant organization in France.

Imam Hassan Shalghoumi of France, known for his pro-Israel views, spoke about the visit to the factories in Barkan which employ both Jews and Arabs. "We saw a company in which Israelis and Palestinians work together. I salute them. I support the policy of the head of the Samaria Regional Council to expand and deepen the dialogue. Let us pray that there will be more people, mothers, sisters - that no mother will cry - neither Israeli nor Palestinian. "

Next to Shalghoumi sat Yael Shevach whose husband, Rabbi Raziel, was murdered in a shooting attack in Samaria in January 2018. "To my right is a woman who lost her husband a year ago, left alone with six orphans. Which right allows you to take a life? The Torah of Moshe forbids murder. And also for us, the Muslims, murder is a horrible sin. The greatest sin is to take a life. The solution is dialogue."

"There will soon be an international peace conference (the Bahrain conference) and there are those who refuse to go. I think it's wrong - one should always go and engage in dialogue. Sit around the same table even if you disagree - dialogue can save us." Shalghoumi also mentioned the activity of the BDS in France, saying that it contradicts the laws of the Koran.

Sheikh Tamimi of Ramallah said that "every problem can be solved through negotiation and dialogue and with good relations with each other. Spreading hatred is not the way of Islam. We all live together and we can understand each other through dialogue. God willing, the future will be better for us and for our children."

"We believe that the true path of peace starts first and foremost through mutual peace, and not through the terror of the Palestinian Authority," Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan told the Muslim delegation. "We do not believe in peace on paper and through apathetic politicians, but in creating mutual respect and relations that begin from below, from economic development and cooperation."

Benjamin Touati, the deputy director of the ELNET organization, spoke about the decision to bring the Muslim delegation to visit Samaria. "What's important to us is to show people the real reality on the ground, so that they will not only be fed by what they were told in the mosques and the media. It was a very powerful and important tour. The Muslim leaders were surprised to discover that people living in Judea and Samaria live a completely normal life. As far as we are concerned, these people are becoming ambassadors of peace in the Muslim community in Europe."