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“Supporting Innocent Palestinians a Religious Duty”: Al-Azhar

  • Al-Azhar in its statement has condemned the war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.
  • It also criticized Western media coverage as biased and prejudiced against Palestine and its people.

Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the highest institution of Sunni Islamic authority, has issued a statement urging the Arabs and Muslims to take a unified position in the face of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, stating that supporting Palestinian civilians is a religious duty and a moral obligation.

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"Supporting Innocent Palestinians a Religious Duty": Al-Azhar - About Islam

“Al-Azhar Ash-Sharif reiterates its salute to the steadfast Palestinians and ‎appreciates their keen clinging to their dear homeland and perseveringly holding on ‎to its soil, regardless of the cost and sacrifices involved,” a statement published on Al-Azhar page on Facebook read.

“Al-Azhar thus addresses its message to those clinging to their ‎lands: “You’d better die on your lands as knights, heroes, and martyrs than leave it ‎defenseless to the usurping colonialists. You should know that abandoning your lands ‎means death to your cause, which is ours too, and eliminating it irreversibly.”

"Supporting Innocent Palestinians a Religious Duty": Al-Azhar - About Islam

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Israeli War Crimes

In its statement also, the centuries-old Sunni religious institution condemned the war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation, such as the targeting of civilians, including women and children, and the bombing of hospitals, markets, ambulances, mosques, and schools.

“Al-Azhar warns that targeting civilians, including defenseless women, ‎children, and the elderly; the bombarding of hospitals, markets, ambulances, ‎mosques, and schools, where civilians are taking shelter, are explicit war crimes,” the statement added.

“The Zionist entity’s ‎war crimes also include the stifling, inhumane siege of the Gaza Strip, the use of heavy weapons banned according to international ‎laws and common ethics… All of this is a marked genocide and a set of war crimes in the full ‎sense of the word.”

Furthermore, it called on Arab and Islamic governments to unite and stand firm against what it described as West’s inhumane support for the Zionists in their violation of the rights of Palestinian civilians, stressing that an international investigation into Israel’s war crimes should be launched. 

Since Israel launched war on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the number of civilian casualties and those displaced in the coastal enclave has dramatically increased. 

According to the Palestinian health ministry, more than 1055 Palestinians have been killed and at least 5,100 wounded. Children and senior citizens accounted for almost 60 percent of casualties.