On Sept. 3, the website of Dar Al-Ifta Palestine, the Palestinian fatwa institution, published an official statement by Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, in which he reiterated the fatwas banning both selling Palestinian land to “the enemies” and accepting compensation for land appropriated by Israel, and defining anyone who does so as an infidel and a traitor to Allah and the homeland.

The reiteration of this position apparently comes against the backdrop of rumors and leaks that the United States intends to redefine the status of Palestinian refugees, with the aim of decreasing the number of people eligible for such status and transforming the Palestinian problem into a humanitarian issue to be resolved as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace initiative, known as the Deal of the Century.

The following is the translation of the mufti’s statement, from the Dar Al-Ifta website:

“Against the backdrop of the old/new discourse about compensating the Palestinian refugees for their property that was stolen by the Israeli occupation, Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the General Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and preacher at Al-Aqsa mosque, stressed the Oct. 31, 1996 decision of the [Palestinian Authority’s] Supreme Fatwa Council, as well as the fatwas on this matter issued by Dar Al-Ifta Palestine [the Palestinian fatwa institution], which state: ‘Palestine is a land of waqf and kharaj, and according to Islamic law no part of it may be sold, nor may its ownership be transferred to the enemies because according to this law it is considered the property of the Muslim community and not the private property [of any individual].

Any transfer of ownership of Dar Al-Islam [land] to the enemies is null and void and constitutes a betrayal of Allah, of His Messenger [the Prophet Muhammad], and of the trust of Islam [placed in the hands of the believers]. Allah said: “O ye that believe! Betray not the trust of Allah and the Messenger, nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you [Quran 8:27].”

Anyone who sells his land to enemies, or accepts compensation for it, is a sinner, for by doing so he is aiding the removal of Muslims from their lands, and Allah has connected him with those who fought the Muslims because of their religion, saying: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes—from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers [Koran 60:8-9].”

Full report at MEMRI here.