Joint List chair: PM 'Israel's chief agitator'

Ayman Odeh attacks Prime Minister for 'distortion' and 'incitement'; blames 'settlers' for violating status quo on Temple Mount.

Cynthia Blank,

MK Ayman Odeh
MK Ayman Odeh
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Despite the Prime Minister's implementation of new measures to calm Israeli-Arab tensions, Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh accused Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday of being "Israel's chief agitator."

"Binyamin Netanyahu begins his cabinet meetings attacking representatives of the Arab population," Odeh charged in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth. "He distorts our words. He is [supposed to be] a prime minister, not a man from the street."

Netanyahu announced on Sunday the decision to place security cameras on the Temple Mount - in order to uphold a ban on Jews praying at the holy site - but this was apparently not enough to satisfy Odeh. 

"Every measure given to the Waqf to determine who will enter, and who won't - it's an important step," he asserted. "But it is the settlers entering (the compound) and the fact that a minister came (Uri Ariel) which are very crude violations of the status quo."

The Joint List chair also noted he was "looking for a true peace, a real solution, security for me and you" and advocated "peaceful popular protest" to achieve it.

"I am a chronic optimist, but here I cannot bury my head in the sand," Odeh stressed. "I will say the word many people run from: Occupation. There is an occupation here in east Jerusalem, on the '67 borders. So I say to you, because you don't want to invite me back in another six months, I say to you - this will explode."

Defending the head of his Likud party, Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin responded by accusing Odeh of trying to justify terrorism by always painting Israel in the wrong.