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Palestinian Aid Muslim Duty: Scholars
 Muslim scholars wrapped up a two-day conference in Doha on Thursday, May 11, saying it is a duty on all Muslims to help the Palestinians, hard hit by aid freeze by the West since the Hamas-led government came to power.
Monday, July 31,2006 00:00
by Farahat Al Abbar, IOL Correspondent

 Muslim scholars wrapped up a two-day conference in Doha on Thursday, May 11, saying it is a duty on all Muslims to help the Palestinians, hard hit by aid freeze by the West since the Hamas-led government came to power.

"Muslim peoples everywhere must help the Palestinians by all means," according to the final communiqué of the Doha conference held in support of the Palestinian people.

"Muslims must offer all means of financial assistance to their fellow ones in Palestine to help them overcome their financial crunch and render plans to mitigate their sufferings a success."

The Palestinians have been facing serious shortages of food and medicine since the US and the EU suspended direct aid to the Hamas-led government.

Israel has further stopped transferring customs duties worth around $50 million a month and previously collected for the Palestinian Authority.

The two-day conference opened in the Qatari capital Doha on Wednesday, May 10, at an initiative from prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

It was attended by a cohort of Muslim scholars including renowned Saudi scholar Sheikh Salman Al-Odah and Harith al-Dari, chairman of Iraq’s Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS).

A number of Palestinian leaders also attended including Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal.

Banks Role

Qaradawi said it was permissible for Muslims to pay the Zakah money to the Palestinians to help them in their current crisis.

The communiqué urged the Arab banks to help transfer funds and donations to the Palestinians.

"Banks must stand up to their duties and avoid being used by the enemies and fail the Palestinian people," it said.

During their opening session, Muslim scholars threatened to rally world Muslims to boycott countries and banks blocking aid to the starving Palestinian people.

Several banks have refused to transfer millions of dollars donated by Arabs and Muslims or some governments to the Palestinian Authority fearing American sanctions.

The Arab Bank, which holds some 30,000 accounts of PA workers, refrained from accepting such transfer after the US threatened to deem this as assistance to Hamas.

Strikes

The statement further urged Muslim peoples to stage rallies and strikes to pressure their governments to support the Palestinians.

"These rallies will be used to pressure governments falling short of supporting the Palestinians to live up to their responsibilities and stop all attempts to normalize with the Zionist entity."

It also warned that failure of the "reform process in Palestine would push the Muslim peoples to resort to violence to introduce reforms".

The statement also called on the Palestinian presidency to cooperate with the Hamas-led government as it was freely elected by the Palestinian people.

Qatari Campaign

Sheikh Qaradawi unveiled during the closing session a grassroots aid campaign that will be launched in Qatar within days.

The prominent scholar also said that it was permissible for Muslims to pay the Zakah money to the Palestinians to help them in their current crisis.

Zakah is obligatory amounts of money that rich Muslims pay to the poor

Many donation campaigns have been organized in many Arab and Muslim countries to help the Palestinians in their current distress.

The Arab Doctors Union launched on May 5 in Cairo an ambitious campaign throughout the Arab world to raise one billion euros for the Palestinians.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned on Friday, May 5, that a humanitarian crisis was now "on our doorstep" in the Gaza Strip due to the aid freeze.


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