The Palestinian delegates said they were extremely shocked by the mufti’s abusive language and threats.
“He called us trash,” one of them said. “He didn’t even give us time to respond to his allegations.”
Samir Abu Afash, Secretary- General of the PLO in Beirut, said he sent a report to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about the mufti’s remarks.
Abbas instructed the Palestinian representatives to refrain from a confrontation with Qabbani out of fear that such a move would escalate tensions between the two sides.
Former Lebanese prime minister Fuad Saniora later phoned Fathi Abu al-Aradat to apologize on behalf of the mufti.
The mufti lost his temper following complaints that Palestinians living in refuge camps in Lebanon had illegally seized lands belonging to the state and the Islamic Wakf Trust.
Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, former head of the PA religious courts, strongly condemned the mufti of Lebanon, saying his statements were unsuitable for a man of his status.
He said Qabbani had a long history of instigating sectarian strife between various communities in Lebanon, and demanded that he apologize to all Palestinians.
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