In a televised interview on the Kul al-Arab Israeli-Arab news station, Ra’am (United Arab List) Secretary-General Ibrahim Hijazi on Monday praised "security prisoners" fighting the "occupation," asserting that the Temple Mount and Western Wall belong only to Muslims, and calling for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be erased.
Hijazi's interview, which was translated and brought to the public eye by the Arab Desk of Im Tirtzu, took place a day prior to the highly-praised declaration by Ra'am head MK Mansour Abbas that Israel will remain a Jewish state.
Critics of Ra'am's inclusion in the government have long accused Ra'am of speaking one way in Arabic and another way in Hebrew in order to mask its true agenda.
Hijazi's interview did nothing to soothe critics' concern, as he made clear that, "The one who makes decision on large matters, nationalistic and ideological, is not Ibrahim [Hijazi] or Mansour [Abbas] – it's the Ra'am platform."
"Our position is firm," continued Hijazi. "The blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and every grain of dirt in it, its plazas, its domes, its walls, and the Buraq Wall (Western Wall) all belong to Islam and no one can step foot there."
Regarding jailed terrorists, he said: "Why are the security prisoners in Israeli prison? They defended their land. The security prisoner has a problem with the state, or with a police officer, a prison guard, or the army. He has a problem with the state that is occupying its land. In every matter regarding the prisoners – by the way, there are old prisoners, sick prisoners, child prisoners, sick prisoners [sic], and women. What's with them? What are they still doing in prison?"
"I know how to do my job in order to make a serious contribution regarding this matter. This is a serious matter in which a security prisoner fought and sacrificed."
Hijazi also took aim at Jews living in Judea and Samaria, accusing them of "perpetrating terrorism against our Palestinian brethren."
"Our stance on this is clear: The settlements will be erased, either sooner or later," he emphasized.
Hijazi, whose surname indicates his family origins in the Hejaz region in Saudi Arabia, also asserted that the Arabs, not Jews, are the natives of the land.
"The difference between us and them (Jews) is that we are the natives here. I didn't come from anywhere else. Palestinian Arabs didn’t fall here from the sky."
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said that the interview further proves the duplicity of Mansour Abbas and the danger of having Ra'am in the coalition.
"Mansour Abbas is in essence a doll used to hide the violence and radicalism of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is a façade who has no power to make decisions," said Peleg.
"Those who are gushing over Mansour Abbas' words should remember what happened after leading Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi promised democracy in Egypt."