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March 14, 2017 5:04 pm

PA President Abbas Warmly Welcomes, Reiterates Support for Antisemitic Dean of Gaza Schools

avatar by Rachel Frommer

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Dean of the Al-Azhar institutes Imad Hamato and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meet March 6. Photo: PMW.

Dean of the Al-Azhar institutes Imad Hamato and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meet March 6. Photo: PMW.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his support for the man he appointed six months ago as dean of a Gaza school system — a PA TV personality who has accused Jews of “slaughtering innocents” and of controlling international media and the economy — the Jerusalem-based research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported Monday.

Abbas received Imad Hamato, head of the Al-Azhar institutes and host of weekly television program “This is Our Religion,” at his presidential headquarters in Ramallah, where he wished Hamato success in his new role, according to PMW.

Hamato, who was appointed dean in October of last year, has what PMW said is a long history of using extreme antisemitic rhetoric on PA TV, including saying in Feb. 2016: “Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land. Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land. An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it.” PMW also exposed that Hamato has called Jews “a people of lies” and said “they create wars.”

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After his meeting with Abbas, Hamato said his schools “are committed to…the moderate message of Islam,” with the president responding that the institutes have his “full support…and prais[ing] their large role in conveying the correct message of Islam,” according to PMW.

PMW said the Al-Azhar institutes prepare students to study at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University.

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