Palestinians in front of the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday strongly condemned Israel for allowing Jewish “extremists” to “storm” the Temple Mount and imposing restrictions on Muslim worshipers.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal phoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed with him the recent developments at the Temple Mount, Palestinian officials said. The two also discussed ways of ending the dispute between the PA and Hamas, the officials added.
Also Tuesday, Abbas phoned Jordan’s King Abdullah and discussed with him the latest developments at the Temple Mount
Several Palestinian factions called for a “day of rage” on Friday in protest against Israeli “assaults” on the Temple Mount and Muslim worshipers.
The PA government, which held its weekly meeting in Ramallah, accused the Israeli authorities of permitting Jewish “extremists” to carry out the largest “incursion” of the al-Aksa Mosque compound.
The government also accused Israel of using “poisonous gas” to disperse Muslim worshipers during clashes at the compound over the past few days.
The PA government also condemned Israel’s decision to ban Muslim women and girls from entering the compound as a “crime against all religions and a flagrant assault on freedom of worship.” It said that Jerusalem and its holy sites were being subjected to “war crimes.”
The PLO Executive Committee held an emergency meeting in Ramallah and called for “confronting Israeli terror schemes” against the Islamic holy sites. The committee called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the situation at the Temple Mount.
The PA Foreign Ministry called on the international community to intervene to stop Israel from “dragging the region to a religious war.” The ministry accused Israel of seeking to divide the Temple Mount in time and place between Muslims and Jews.
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas said that the Israel’s recent actions in Jerusalem were tantamount to a declaration of war. “The international community must move to stop the Israeli crime before the situation explodes,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “Our people won’t allow the criminal Israeli scheme to pass.”