Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday accused Israel of stepping up its “aggressive offensive” against Palestinians and their holy sites, and said no changes at the Temple Mount would be accepted.
“We unequivocally and clearly say that we won’t accept a change of the status quo at the Aksa Mosque,” Abbas declared in a speech broadcast on Palestine TV.
“We won’t permit the passing of any Israeli plans targeting the sanctity of the mosque.”
He also accused Israel of carrying out “field executions
” against Palestinians, saying the Palestinians would bring the case before the International Criminal Court.
How can Israel put an end to this wave of terror?
Abbas did not issue any call to Palestinians to stop the current wave of terrorism, nor did he condemn the attacks.
Rather, he warned that Israel’s actions threatened peace and stability and could ignite a “religious conflict” between Israelis and Palestinians and the entire world.
Abbas said the Palestinians “wouldn’t surrender to the logic of wanton force, the policies of the occupation and the aggression of the Israeli government and settlers who are practicing terrorism against our people, holy sites, homes and trees.”
Abbas accused Israel of executing Palestinian children in cold blood, citing the case of Ahmed Manasrah, one of the two assailants who stabbed two Israelis
in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood on Monday.
“We will continue with our national struggle, which is based on our right to self-defense, peaceful, popular resistance and political and legal struggle,” Abbas added. “We won’t remain hostage to agreements that are not honored by Israel and we will continue to join international conventions and treaties. We will present new cases to the International Criminal Court about the field executions against our sons, daughters and grandchildren. Those who fear international law must stop committing crimes against our people.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abbas’s comments “lies and incitement.”
“The boy Abbas spoke about [from the Pisgat Ze’ev incident] is alive at Hadassah hospital after stabbing an Israeli boy on his bike,” the prime minister said. “As Israel maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount, Abbas – with his incitement – is making cynical use of religion and causing acts of terrorism.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely responded by saying Abbas and his cronies “continue with their lies and incitement” and that his accusations “lay the groundwork for murder and terrorism, sometimes even [encouraging] children to go out and attack.”
“The blood of our wounded and murdered citizens is on his hands,” she said.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.