Netanyahu: Abbas Hasn't Condemned One Attack

In meeting with UN Sec. General Ban Ki-moon, Netanyahu accuses Mahmoud Abbas of 'fanning the flames' of terror.

Ari Soffer , | updated: 10:00 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu and Ban Ki-moon meet in Jerusalem
Binyamin Netanyahu and Ban Ki-moon meet in Jerusalem
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

In a meeting Tuesday evening with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu once again rejected accusations by the Palestinian Authority that Israel is seeking to change the "status quo" on the Temple Mount.

On the contrary, the prime minister accused the PA and Islamist groups of themselves attempting to breach the current arrangements, by trying to force an end to all Jewish visits to the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.

"Your visit comes at a troubling time," the PM said. "In recent weeks Israelis have been deliberately run over, shot, stabbed, even hacked to death.

"In large part this is because President Abbas has joined ISIS and Hamas in claiming that Israel threatens the Al Aqsa Mosque. This is a total lie. Israel vigorously protects the sites of all faiths - we keep the status quo.

"The Palestinians by contrast are the ones who violate the status quo."

"Palestinians have brought explosives into the Al Aqsa Mosque - that's a violation of the status quo," he continued, referring to Islamist gangs who regularly stockpile weapons and makeshift bombs in the mosque and use it as a base to attack security forces. 

"They try violently to prevent Jews and Christians from visiting the Temple Mount - that's another violation of the status quo," he added. 

"And they work to convince UNESCO to deny the Jewish people's historic connection to the Western Wall," Netanyahu said, referring to the recent bid by the Palestinian Authority to claim the Kotel as an Islamic site. "These are the real threats to the status quo."

The prime minister also declared that "It's time to tell the truth about the cause of Palestinian terrorism.

"It's not the settlements, it's not the peace process - it's the desire to destroy the State of Israel, pure and simple."

Netanyahu also accused PA leader Mahmoud Abbas of "fanning the flames," citing recent comments by Abbas in which he said he "welcomes every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem."

"President Abbas has not condemned a single one of the 30 terrorist attacks on Israelis over the last month, and he continues to glorify terrorists as heroes."

Rejecting accusations by some that Israel was using "excessive force" in stopping terrorist attackers, and in dealing with violent riots, Netanyahu insisted: "In the face of this terrorism Israel is acting as any democracy would to defend its citizens. We are not... using excessive force."

The Israeli prime minister also called on the international community to back Israel as it acts to protect itself, and to "hold President Abbas accountable for his dangerous words."