A sheik in Jordan said it is forbidden to kill Jews except during times of war.

Ali Al-Halabi said in a videotaped message distributed on social media that it is permitted to kill Jews during a declared war or clashes with Jewish soldiers, but that at other times it is a betrayal.

“Someone who protects you, gives you electricity and water, transfers you money and you work for him and take his money — would you betray him, even if he was a Jew?” the sheik responds to a question from a student. “If you trust him and he trusts you, then it is forbidden to betray him. And therefore you are forbidden to murder him.”

Al-Halabi, the director of the Imam Albani Center for religious and methodological studies in Jordan, also said that he understood that Palestinians are not attacked by Israeli soldiers unless they are first attacked. He added that he was not trying to defend the “despised Jews,” but that practically, if they were killing the Palestinians indiscriminately, then “nobody would remain.”

Muslim activists have attacked the sheik for his statements, the Arabic-language Al Watan news website reported, including distributing videos of Israeli soldiers shooting at would-be Palestinian attackers.

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