The supreme Shariah judge for the Palestinian Authority, who advises President Mahmoud Abbas on religious issues, is denying the Jewish links throughout history to the city of Jerusalem.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reported Mahmoud al-Habbash insisted at a conference this week the struggle in Jerusalem is between the “rightful owners” of the city, meaning the Muslims and the Christians.

He said there are also some “foreign Western imperialists that have no connection to this soil,” referring to the state of Israel.

Habbash said the purpose of Israel’s existence as a state is to weaken and divide the Arab world.

He called the claim that the Jews have a historical connection to Jerusalem nothing but a distortion of history, MEMRI said.

The conference was set up by the Muslim-Christian Council for the Salvation of Jerusalem and the Holy Places and the Organization for Muslim Cooperation, MEMRI said.

In his address, Habbash said the “battle for Jerusalem is not a religious one; it a political battle between the rightful owners [of the city] and the imperialists.”

“This obligates us to raise the Arab and Muslim world’s awareness of the Arab, Muslim and Christian identity of Jerusalem,” he said.

“We must be careful when using a particular term or word in connection with Jerusalem, for this is not a conflict with the Jews, but a struggle between the [real] residents and owners of Jerusalem, who are Muslim, Christian and Arab, and some foreign Western imperialists that have no connection to this soil.”

Habbash said the “catastrophe of Jerusalem did not begin in 1967 or 1948, or with the Balfour Declaration.”

“It began much earlier, about 450 years ago, when imperialist calls began to be heard in the West,” he said.

He said Palestine “is not the [Jewish] Promised Land or the land of the [Jewish] forefathers – for if it is, why did they consider it as [only] one of several options when they started looking for a place for their state?”

“There is a difference between faith and claiming territory based on a false Jewish or Biblical pretext whose sole purpose is to take over the land. The Al-Burak Wall [i.e., the Western Wall] has nothing to do with a [Jewish] temple, and [the Jews] have no right over its stones. This is an imperialist myth that exploited and distorted history and the holy sites in order to advance and justify imperialist projects.”

He said the decision by President Trump to allow a 20-year-old law in America recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to take effect was a plot to drive a wedge between Asian and African Arabs.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem “is an American settlement in Jerusalem, and an emblem of imperialism,” he said.

“We, 13 million Palestinians, say that Jerusalem will not be Judaized and its identity and culture will not be altered. It will remain the eternal capital of the Palestinian state,” said Habbash.

His comments align with the views of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which has denied a connection between the Jews and the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

WND reported in March, however, a foundation dedicated to the discovery of ancient Jerusalem is offering “empirical proof” of the Jews’ residency in Jerusalem for millennia and challenging UNESCO to “get your facts straight.”

UNESCO’s claims came in steps. It declared the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, believed to be the site of the double tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah – a “Palestinian heritage site.”

Get the six-part DVD series that explores the history of Israel and the events that led up to its miraculous rebirth in 1948, “Israel: A Nation is Born” in the WND Superstore.

And the group said the Temple Mount and the Western Wall had only Islamic links and should be known only by Islamic names.

The UNESCO claims were debunked in a film by award-winning filmmaker Pierre Rehov, whose “Unveiling Jerusalem” features testimony from “experts, historians and archaeologists” regarding Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple.

Additionally, the City of David Foundation offered evidence.

A video narrated by its vice president, Doron Spielman, points out that UNESCO is calling for excavations there to stop because the artifacts uncovered daily are “the very artifacts that prove Jewish history.”

He speaks from a structure 3,000 years old, from the time of King David.

Researchers found two clay seals in the ground there with the names Gedaliah son of Pashhur and Jucal son of Shelemiah.

Those lineages are referenced in Jeremiah, chapter 38.

Other empirical evidence includes the Siloam Pool, found in 2004, and the stairs now being excavated that took Jewish pilgrims from the pool to the Temple.

In that tunnel was found a coin engraved “For the Freedom of Zion.”

When the coin was minted, he pointed out, Jews already had been in Jerusalem for 1,000 years, but Islam wasn’t to make its appearance for another 600 or so.

“UNESCO, any comments?” he asks. “I thought so.”

“If anyone from UNESCO is out there listening, I encourage you – get your facts straight.”

See the video:

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.