(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian factions on Thursday called to step up protests in the West Bank and east Jerusalem following prayers on Friday.
The appeal came as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas voiced support for a “peaceful popular resistance.”
“We won’t be dragged to their [Israel’s] level.
We won’t use violence or force. We believe in peace and peaceful popular resistance, which is our right and must continue as long as there is aggression,” he told reporters in Ramallah.
Abbas expressed support for Palestinians “who are defending the Aksa Mosque and are suffering a lot for the sake of defending it.”
Addressing the Israeli government, he said: “Stay away from our Islamic and Christian holy sites. We want peace and our hands will continue to be extended toward peace despite all our suffering at your hands.”
Abbas said that the Palestinian flag would be raised over the Aksa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre when a Palestinian state is established.
The PA government, which held an emergency meeting in Ramallah on Thursday, expressed support for the “peaceful popular uprising” and said Palestinians were entitled to defend their lands and holy sites.
The government condemned “Israeli crimes” against Palestinians and called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions.
It accused Israeli authorities of “assassinating and killing children and defenseless citizens who have become targets of daily field executions and cold-blooded killings under false pretexts.”
The PA government called on the UN Human Rights Council to dispatch a commission of inquiry to the region to investigate “Israeli crimes and the deliberate killing of innocent civilians, as well as other Israeli violations of international law.”