As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry works furiously to bring Israelis and Palestinians together for peace talks, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) religious affairs minister said any resulting agreement could be abrogated when it suits Palestinian interests.
According to a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash delivered a Friday sermon, broadcast on television, saying Palestinian negotiators model their behavior on the prophet Muhammad, who negotiated a 10-year truce and then attacked his enemies after only two years.
Speaking in the presence of PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Habbash said Muhammad was criticized at the time for agreeing to a 10-year peace agreement. “In less than two years, the Prophet returned and based on this treaty, he conquered Mecca. This is the example, this is the model.”
Al-Habbash said the Palestinian leadership had followed the model 20 years ago when it negotiated the Oslo Accords and as a result was able to constitute the PA. “All this never would have happened through Hamas’ impulsive adventure, but only through the wisdom of leadership, conscious action, consideration and walking the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, even though some opposed it,” he said.
PMW noted the minister’s sermon was consistent with other statements by Palestinian leaders over the years, including former PA chair Yasser Arafat.