As Temple Mount Tensions Remain High, Palestinian Authority Leader Abbas Calls for Further Protests
Amid the ongoing tensions in the Middle East over new security measures implemented by Israel at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following the recent terrorist attack there in which two policemen were killed, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah Party are urging protesters to stay on the streets.
“All of the new Israeli steps on the ground from that date [July 14, when the attack took place] until today need to stop, and then the situation in Jerusalem will return to normal,” Abbas said on Tuesday, in remarks translated by Palestinian Media Watch. “Afterwards we will continue our work on everything regarding the relations between us and them.”
“Since Israel tried to change the situation, the residents of Jerusalem have risen as one,” he continued. “You have objected to all of the steps, and we have supported you in what you have done and what you are doing. We are with you in everything that you have done and are still doing, as you are causing us pride, and you are taking care of your Al-Aqsa Mosque, your land, your dignity, your people, your religion and your holy sites. This is the response to everyone who wants to harm our holy sites. Jerusalem is ours. It is our capital and it is [under] our sovereignty, and therefore what you are doing is right.”
Meanwhile, Abbas’ Fatah Party on Tuesday published an image on Facebook of a clenched fist, immersed in fire, accompanied by the words, “At your service, O Jerusalem. At your service, O Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Both West Bank-based Fatah and and its rival Hamas — which rules the Gaza Strip — are organizing mass demonstrations for this coming Friday. Last Friday, three Palestinians were killed in violent clashes with Israeli security forces.
On Wednesday, according to the Petra news agency, Jordanian King Abdullah II spoke with Abbas by telephone and the two discussed the Temple Mount situation.
Abdullah and Abbas “stressed the importance of continuing coordination to bring the situation back to what it was before the outbreak of the crisis and ensure that the historical and legal status in the Holy Mosque is respected,” Petra reported.
On Tuesday, Israel dismantled metal detectors and cameras it had put in place at the Temple Mount and said it would instead use “advanced technologies” to secure the hilltop holy compound.