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Abbas Warns Israel Over Al-Aqsa Mosque

"We cannot remain silent" over Israel's alleged "assaults" on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, warns PA Chairman.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/13/2013, 1:15 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority on Sunday sent a warning to Israel, over what it calls its attempts to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Speaking during a meeting of the PLO's Executive Committee, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that it is impossible to hold back in the wake of what he called the attacks by Israel on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria, in particular by local Jewish residents.

"We cannot remain silent over such actions, nor can we accept their recurrence," Abbas said. "If Israel is dreaming about establishing facts on the ground through its daily attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, then it is deluded."

He added, "Eastern Jerusalem is our capital city, Al-Aqsa belongs to us, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre belongs to us, and we will not accept [the Israelis’] harassment.”

Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.

At the same time the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount after Israel liberated it during the 1967 Six Day War, consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.

The Waqf has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the site. At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”

Israeli Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.

Last week, Israeli police questioned and released Jerusalem's most senior Muslim cleric, Mufti Mohammed Hossein, for suspected involvement in throwing chairs at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount.

The United States subsequently called for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to exercise restraint over the tensions at the compound.