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No, the Taliban has not requested passage to Israel to ‘conquer Jerusalem’

IN SHORT: According to several Facebook posts, the Taliban have asked some countries to grant them passage because they want to join the Israeli-Palestinian war and "conquer Jerusalem". But there's no evidence that this is true.

Some Facebook posts claim that the Taliban have requested passage to Israel from neighbouring Muslim countries in order to “conquer Jerusalem”.

The Taliban are an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group who took power in Afghanistan in 2021.

One of the posts reads: “STATEMENT FROM TALIBAN: We will ‘Conquer Jerusalem’ if the Countries of the Middle East grant us passage to Israel.”

The decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which centres on territorial disputes in a region that both parties consider sacred, has been making international headlines since October 2023. The ongoing conflict has escalated, leading to increased international attention and concern.

Israel declared war on Hamas on 7 October 2023, following deadly Hamas attacks on and kidnappings of Israeli civilians. Hamas is a militant group that rules over the Gaza Strip, a highly contested territory densely populated by Palestinians. 

Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, although this is a contentious issue and Palestinians also consider the ancient city their capital.  

Similar posts claiming that Taliban wish to “conquer Jerusalem” have been published here, here and here. But is this true?


Taliban ‘monitoring’ situation but no evidence of wishing to join the war

Africa Check found that the purported Taliban statement was reported elsewhere other than on social media. These reports say that the Taliban had “reportedly” issued the statement, but do not cite an original source for the claim. We couldn’t find any credible sources reporting on this alleged announcement.

Instead, we found a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry said it was “closely monitoring” the events in the Gaza Strip and called on the international community “to prevent violence against the innocent Palestinian people by the Israeli occupying forces”. There was no mention of “conquering Jerusalem” or requesting passage to Israel.

Wahid Faqiri, an Afghan political analyst, reportedly told the Voice of America news agency that the Taliban were “trying hard to stay away” from the war. Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, head of the Taliban's political office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, also said the claim was false.

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