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Palestinians in quandary about new visitors from Gulf

Palestinians and Jordanians are working to ensure that Gulf visitors to Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Palestinian half of Jerusalem abide by the same rituals and traditions that all Muslims have practiced when visiting the holy sites.
Palestinians gather to commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammed, known in Arabic as "al-Mawlid al-Nabawi", outside the Dome of the Rock in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site, in the old city of Jerusalem on October 29, 2020. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Palestinians have for years been urging Muslims, Christians and others to visit the holy city of Jerusalem as a public expression of support to the Palestinian cause and the people of the holy city. This call, which was initiated by late Palestinian political leader Faisal Husseini, used the concept that visiting those in jail doesn’t mean recognition of the jailer. The same phrasing has been repeated numerous times since to justify visits to the occupied territories by citizens of countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel, especially in sporting events.

A meeting of top Muslim scholars and intellectuals in 2014 led to a consensus on a fatwa (religious edict) to end a ban of Muslim visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem while under Israeli occupation.

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