Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday accused Israel of attempting to stoke tensions after a recent streak of Palestinian terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem, AFP reported.
"The Israeli side and its government have an interest in dragging things into a cycle of violence and are trying through escalation at Al-Aksa (mosque compound) and settler attacks to escape their political impasse and international isolation," AFP quoted a statement from Abbas's office as reading.
Abbas's remarks came after he reportedly urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday to help garner "international protection for the Palestinian people" amid escalations with Israel.
According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, Ban vowed in a phone call with Abbas that he would also speak with Netanyahu in light of the heightened regional tensions.
Also on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new security measures
in light of recent attacks that left four Israelis dead.
After consultations with top army brass and senior security officials, Netanyahu announced a series of punitive measures aimed at deterring Palestinians from carrying out attacks similar to the deadly shooting of an Israeli couple in the West Bank Thursday, and the stabbing and shooting attack that killed two Israelis in Jerusalem on Saturday night.
The premier said that he instructed the security services to carry out "a number of additional steps, including expediting the demolition of terrorists' homes, expanding administrative detentions of rioters, and banning those engaged in incitement from the Old City and the Temple Mount."
The prime minister planed to use Sunday's meeting as the basis of a larger cabinet session planned for Monday evening following the end of the Simchat Torah holiday.
The security chiefs also resolved to examine the possibility of beefing up the presence of police and soldiers in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Netanyahu urged ministers and lawmakers to exercise caution in their statements.