Abbas: 'We Are Not Calling for an Intifada'

'If we wanted an intifada, we would have called for one during Protective Edge,' PA Chairman says, in latest attempt to clean up his image.

Tova Dvorin ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas attempted to clean up his image on Wednesday, in an interview with Channel 10, after he made a number of threats against Jews and Israelis earlier this month. 

Abbas's interview began with him denying that the recent uprisings in Jerusalem are an "intifada" - even after his "unity government" partner Hamas declared it as such explicitly on Saturday night.

"We do not want an intifada," Abbas claimed. "We are not calling for an intifada."

"If we were calling for an intifada, we would have done so during the fifty days of Operation Protective Edge [in Gaza]," Abbas added. "Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu has forgotten that during those 50 days, not one bullet was fired from the West Bank [Judea and Samaria - ed.]?"

Abbas also claimed that his turning to the UN Security Council, via Jordan, for an inquiry over Israel struggling to defend Jerusalem against the cycle of violence was "the only option." 

"What is happening is the result of the Israeli government's propaganda," Abbas stated. "When people attack me, I go to the Security Council." 

Abbas then called on Israeli citizens to get the State of Israel to resume peace talks, claiming wildly that if it did, "57 Arab countries would, along with us, recognize Israel and the normalization of Israeli-Palestinian relations." 

Two weeks ago, Abbas called for Palestinian Arabs to stop Jews from ascending the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - "by all means." 

"It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means. This is our Aqsa... and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it," Abbas said, calling the Jews "a herd of cattle." 

Abbas's remarks were largely seen as an incitement to violence, sparking new rounds of lawlessness in an already-tense situation in Jerusalem.

They were only the latest such remarks by the PA leader, who has repeatedly called for violence in Jerusalem.