At a weekly Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government meeting on Tuesday, it was announced that Israel had agreed to allow Arab residents of Gaza to travel to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The move comes as part of a general increase in the number of Gaza residents allowed to travel into Judea and Samaria, a gesture in the ongoing ceasefire talks between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas, which are to resume in Cairo in the last week of October. The talks come amid reports that Hamas has renewed its terrorist preparations to attack Israel.
Arab rioters have already been attacking police officers and Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, on a regular basis - last Wednesday ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) that violence boiled over in wild riots. It has been revealed that Hamas has been actively fanning the violence and funding riots on the Temple Mount to create instability in Israel.
The move to let Gaza residents pray at the site may strike some as ironic given that Jewish prayer at the holy site has been forbidden by the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust), which remains in de facto rule over the Temple Mount.
On Tuesday the PA unity government also gave its backing to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's statements before the UN General Assembly last Friday, in which he accused Israel of fighting a "war of genocide" in Gaza, and of committing a new "nakba" (catastrophe in Arabic) expelling Arab residents.
The PA government expressed its disappointment at the White House's criticism of Abbas's speech, calling on it to support the "a just and stable peace in the Middle East on the basis of the rights of self definition for the Palestinian people, the establishment of a Palestinian state and the end of the occupation."
Unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the PA is asking for international aid for the unity government with Hamas, which he said was working to advance strategic options, by among other things developing Area C in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The area was to be under Israeli control in the 1993 Oslo Accords.