Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced on Friday he was freezing contacts with Israel over its new security measures at the Temple Mount.

Abbas said in a speech that the freeze would stay in place until Israel lifted the measures, reported the AFP news agency.

"I, on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, announce... a freeze of all contacts with the occupation state on all levels until Israel commits to cancelling all the measures against our Palestinian people in general and Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular," Abbas announced, to applause from Palestinian officials.

Abbas called the measures "falsely presented as a security measure to take control over Al-Aqsa mosque".

It was unclear if the move would apply to the quiet security coordination that exists between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Abbas's speech came after four Palestinian Arabs were reportedly killed and dozens wounded in clashes between protesters and Israeli forces over the new security measures at the Temple Mount compound.

The clashes began after the Cabinet decided overnight Thursday that the magnetometers will remain at the entrance to the Temple Mount as part of the new security measures at the compound.

The Cabinet also authorized the police to make every decision "in order to ensure free access to the holy places, while maintaining security and public order" on the Temple Mount.

The magnetometers were placed at the site following last Friday’s terrorist attack at the complex, in which two Druze policemen were murdered.

Just as Abbas announced that he was cutting ties with Israel, an Arab terrorist broke into a home in the Samaria community of Halamish, murdering three Israelis and wounding a fourth.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)