Hamas: Jerusalem unrest could 'spark new explosion' in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israeli will "feel full wave of the explosion," Izz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades spokesman says at anti-Israel rally in Gaza.

By REUTERS
November 14, 2014 08:13
2 minute read.
hamas rafah

Hamas members at an anti-Israel rally in Rafah in southern Gaza, November 13, 2014. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, the Izz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades, said on Thursday that actions by Israel could prove the "spark of a new explosion" in the region.

In his first public appearance since the end of Gaza's latest war, Abu Ubaida said that Israel was seeking confrontation by escalating its "assault" on Al-Aksa and the people of Jerusalem.

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"The spark started in Jerusalem when the settlers burned the teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Gaza rose up to defend Jerusalem," Abu Ubaida told several thousand people, among them hundreds of Hamas gunmen and top officials, gathered at a rally in the southern town of Rafah.

"The continued blockade and the undermining of the reconstruction could be the spark of a new explosion and the Occupation (Israel) will feel the full wave of the explosion because the Occupation is the responsible for the delay and the undermining (of the long-term truce efforts)," he added.

The rally took place as Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu left for Jordan to discuss the unrest in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu met Jordan's King Abdullah and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman to try to ease strife among Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Abdullah has previously accused Israel of "repeated attacks" on holy sites in Jerusalem and said they must stop.

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The meeting indicated concerns that the violence over the holy sites could lead to a new Palestinian uprising and complicate Jordan's role in the US-led coalition battling the Islamic State militant group.

Unrest has flared in the past few weeks over Jerusalem's most sacred and politically sensitive site, revered by Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aksa mosque stands, and by Jews as the Temple Mount, where their biblical temples once stood.

Kerry has added a stop in Amman to the end of a trip to Europe, China and other Middle Eastern cities. Earlier on Thursday he spoke with the Jordanian monarch, who has stewardship over the al-Aksa compound, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jordan last week recalled its ambassador to Israel in protest, the first time it had done so since the two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Netanyahu's visit to Amman was his first since January.

Ultra-nationalists in Israel are challenging the decades-long ban on Jews praying at the Temple Mount. Netanyahu has pledged not to alter the status quo, and has blamed Palestinians in the West Bank for fomenting violence.

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