May 18, 2022
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  • PA libel: Israel “exported” Coronavirus to the PA

  • Israel “used the virus as a new weapon” to destroy the PA

  • Abbas’ advisor: “Allah is liable to bring down punishment on everyone, on all the people who are silent facing injustice, agree with injustice, and defend the oppressors… I think that today we are seeing the realization of this… All of humanity… is being included in one punishment, in this disaster [of the Coronavirus]… Is there a greater injustice than the injustice directed against us?”

The PA is a master of evading responsibility because it is so easy to blame Israel for everything that goes wrong, including the spread of the Coronavirus. In a column in the official PA daily, Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the paper accused Israel of deliberately bringing COVID-19 into the PA:

“It would not be an exaggeration if we say that the racist occupation government has worked to export the ‘COVID-19’ (Coronavirus) epidemic to us, after our institutions succeeded in limiting and reducing the scope of its spread, as [Israel] used the virus as a new weapon to weaken the scope of economic life to the lowest point, and to leave it in an almost fateful dependency on its economy!”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2021]

A similar libel was expressed in the cartoon above, claiming that Israel deliberately infects terrorist prisoners with the virus or purposefully maintains conditions in the prisons under which the virus can thrive.

The image shows a prisoner sitting slumped over on a bed in a prison cell while a hand holding a Coronavirus particle reaches through the bars of the cell door. A number of other Coronavirus particles are seen floating in the air.

Text on image: “The international campaign to protect the prisoners in the occupation’s prison from the Coronavirus epidemic

#The_occupation’s_Coronavirus_is_killing_the_prisoners”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, June 18, 2020]

Referring to a Hadith according to which Islam’s Prophet Muhammad said that “If the people see the oppressors and do not protest against them, they are liable to all be included in the punishment,” PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, likewise explained that all catastrophes that have befallen the world recently – including the COVID-19 pandemic – is Israel, the “oppressor’s,” and the silent bystanders’ fault because they let the “injustice” happen to “Palestine”:

PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Abu Bakr (i.e., founder of the Rashidun Caliphate) said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger say: If the people see the oppressors and do not protest against them, they are liable to all be included in the punishment.’ In other words, Allah is liable to bring down punishment on everyone, on all the people who are silent facing injustice, agree with injustice, and defend the oppressors… I think that today we are seeing the realization of this Hadith (i.e., sayings and practices attributed to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad) as reality. All of humanity, from one end of the earth to the other, is being included in one punishment, in this disaster [of the Coronavirus] that has befallen humanity

Is there a greater injustice than the injustice directed against us? Our land was stolen, our people were expelled, our holy sites were desecrated, and not only is the entire world silent facing the oppressors but they are also blaming the victim…

The punishment that is befalling all of humanity – the rise in prices, economic collapse, epidemics, climate change, global warming – everything that is happening in the universe is because of the injustice.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 26, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above:

Text posted with cartoon: “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs said today, Thursday [June 18, 2020], that at a time when the world is preoccupied with the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli Prison Service is continuing to exploit the situation in order to abuse the prisoners…

The prisoners in Gilboa Prison emphasized… that the routine conditions in which the prisoners are living are most difficult, and most of them even constitute crimes from the perspective of international humanitarian law. They added that the prisoners are suffering from a policy of deliberate medical neglect, torture, abuse, isolation, and inhumane treatment…

They said: ‘In the shadow of the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic in the world, the [Israeli] Prison Service has deliberately neglected the general cleanliness, and there is no proper ventilation in most of its detention camps. In addition, there is a sharp increase in dampness and a deliberate shortage of cleaning supplies, shampoo, soap, and pesticides in the canteen. This is proof for everyone that the [Israeli] Prison Service is exploiting the general situation, and even the health situation, as a means to punish the prisoners in the prisons and the detention and interrogation centers.’”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, June 18, 2020]

Official PA TV, broadcast of Friday prayers and a sermon by PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash at a mosque in Ramallah

PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “After Abu Bakr (i.e., founder of the Rashidun Caliphate) was appointed to be Caliph of the [Islamic] nation [in 632], following [the death of] Prophet [Muhammad], he stood before the Muslims one day on the pulpit of Allah’s Messenger and said: ‘You read the verse: “O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided” [Quran 5:105, Sahih International translation]. You read and hear this, but you understand this incorrectly in a way that does not match Allah’s intent.’ Abu Bakr said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger say: If the people see the oppressors and do not protest against them, they are liable to all be included in the punishment.’ In other words, Allah is liable to bring down punishment on everyone, on all the people who are silent facing injustice, agree with injustice, and defend the oppressors… I think that today we are seeing the realization of this Hadith (i.e., sayings and practices attributed to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad) as reality. All of humanity, from one end of the earth to the other, is being included in one punishment, in this disaster [of the Coronavirus] that has befallen humanity

Is there a greater injustice than the injustice directed against us? Our land was stolen, our people were expelled, our holy sites were desecrated, and not only is the entire world silent facing the oppressors but they are also blaming the victim. [They say:] Victim, why are you shouting? You are disturbing the oppressor! The guy wants to sleep! He wants to rest! Shouting is also forbidden. Talking is forbidden. They talk about all kind of things, the entire world, Arabs and non-Arabs. By the way, in the West and in the East everyone behaves politely towards the oppressors and defends the oppressors at the expense of the victim. Afterwards we ask: Where did this disaster come from? The answer: As a result of your actions! This is what the prophet warned about…

The punishment that is befalling all of humanity – the rise in prices, economic collapse, epidemics, climate change, global warming – everything that is happening in the universe is because of the injustice. Disaster in the sea and on the land appears because of people’s actions. When they carry out injustice and lies, disaster appears in all areas of their lives.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 26, 2021]

 

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah Justice and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations.