Sheikh Qabbani’s remarks were made during a meeting he held in his office in Beirut with a Palestinian delegation, representing refugees and various Palestinian factions in Lebanon.
The furious mufti later kicked the Palestinian representatives out of his office.
More than 400,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, most of them in extremely harsh conditions in refugee camps.
The meeting was called to discuss Palestinian “assaults” on state-owned and Islamic Wakf lands in Lebanon.
“We’ve hosted you and no longer want you,” the mufti told stunned members of the Palestinian delegation.
Accusing Palestinians of “usurping” Wakf lands to build houses, Qabbani told his visitors: “I will defend Wakf lands – even if that costs me all what I have.”
Attempts by the Palestinian representatives to muzzle the mufti further enraged the top religious official, who at one point shouted at them: “You are trash. You [Palestinians] will never be victorious. Nor will your cause. I’m no longer afraid of your weapons.”
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.