Grand Imam of Al-Azhar: Tampering with water rights is forbidden

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar: Tampering with water rights is forbidden

CAIRO: The claim of ownership of some natural resources and disposing of them in a way that harms other countries is dangerous, according to Egypt’s Islamic scholar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar.

During his virtual speech on Friday at the UN celebration of World Environment Day, Al-Tayeb said that religion is for those who believe in it and respect its laws, explicitly ruling that the ownership of people’s essential resources is public property.

It is not right under any circumstances, said Al-Tayeb, to consider these resources as the property of an individual, individuals or state that can use them or dispose of them without taking into consideration the states that rely on these public resources.

He said that water comes at the forefront of essential resources, and the laws of religions stipulate that its ownership should be collective and that it is forbidden that an individual, group or country usurp it without the consent of other.

This comes amid the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) involving Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia began work on the dam in 2011. Egypt fears the GERD will threaten its water supply from the Nile, while Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety and its own water flow.

Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip on Friday received engineering equipment from Egypt to begin the reconstruction process following the 11-day Israeli war.

The equipment will help to remove rubble from buildings destroyed as a result of Israeli airstrikes. It was received by flag-waving Palestinians and came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s commitment to rapidly improve the living conditions of Gazans.

Official sources said the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt would remain open on Fridays as an exception to receive medical emergency cases and for the transfer of aid and reconstruction material to the strip, based on the approval of Egyptian authorities.

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