Cairo, 29 Safar 1434 H / 11 January 2013 (MINA) – Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb stresses Jerusalem’s historical importance following meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Following a recent meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb asserted that Jerusalem (Al-Quds) was not merely an occupied land, but a “holy Islamic and Christian site.”
In a statement following the meeting, the grand imam asked Arab education ministries to prepare curricula highlighting Jerusalem’s historical value, according to Ahram Online report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Friday morning.
El-Tayeb also condemned the ongoing construction of Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land, and in Jerusalem in particular, pointing out that the practice represented a breach of international law.
“All Palestinian factions must unite in the face of the Zionists, who seek to uproot all Palestinians from Jerusalem and Gaza,” he added.
According to El-Tayeb, Abbas presented proposals for achieving Palestinian reconciliation, especially between rival factions Hamas and Fatah, so as to “create the basis on which an agreement can be reached with Egypt as mediator.”
At a press conference following the meeting, Abbas stressed the “central role” played by Egypt’s Al-Azhar in all matters pertaining to Jerusalem and the wider Islamic world.
Ahmed El-Thayeb is the current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and president of al-Azhar University. He was appointed by the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, following the death of Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy in 2010. He is considered to be one of the most moderate Sunni clerics in Egypt. (T/R-009/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)