DEFEND JERUSALEM has called upon Advocate Nurit Litman, the Deputy State Attorney for Special Tasks in the Justice Ministry to commence the immediate prosecution of Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri for inciting violence against the State of Israel.


Yasir Arafat appointed Sheikh Ekrima Sabri as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1994—it was the height of a Palestinian suicide bombing campaign—and he served in that prominent religious and political position until 2006. He was fired by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas because of his radical political and religious sermons that threatened the stability of the area.


Sheikh Sabri is well-known to the Israeli security services for his activities on behalf of Palestinian terrorist movements, primarily Fatah, and his open incitement for violent acts against Israelis and Jews. He has been arrested on numerous occasions by the Israeli police—the last time being in March 2021—yet he enjoys a revolving door in and out of the criminal justice system and has not been tried for his many offenses. This emboldens Sabri to continue his campaign of undermining Israeli security without any fear of legal repercussions.


On June 6, the London-based al-Quds newspaper published a letter by Sabri in which he called upon the “Inside Palestinians” (code for Israel’s Arab citizens) to use force to resist a celebration of flags in Jerusalem and to make sure that they use all means at their disposal (code for terror offenses) to protect the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.


In his written call to arms, Sabri used the word “Ribat,” which is a term of religious significance that refers to the war that Muslims must wage against non-Muslims; it has a similar connotation to the word “Jihad,” or holy war.


Coming from an allegedly holy man who held an office as prominent as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri’s call for a holy war against Israelis in Jerusalem has profound nationalistic and religious significance and is a provocative religious edict hoping for violent acts to be perpetrated in the name of Islam.


This form of religious incitement—with its potential for instigating wide-scale violence—can longer be ignored by Israel’s intelligence and law enforcement forces. He must be arrested and prosecuted immediately before his demands for violence result in catastrophic consequences.