(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the recent wave of terror attacks to hit the country on Tuesday, saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner in the effort to curb extremists.
Speaking at a press conference after a special security cabinet meeting to discuss the situation, Netanyahu said that Abbas was "fanning the flames" and spreading lies, rather than speaking out against terror.
He objected to Abbas's speech earlier Tuesday in which the PA president accused Israel of trying to change the status quo at the Temple Mount.
The prime minister vowed Israel would defeat terrorism again like it has in the past. He said that he had updated the cabinet on the latest steps being put in place to curb terror.
Among the steps being put in place are more forces on ground, the demolition of terrorists' homes, and an "iron fist" against rock-throwers and Molotov cocktail-throwers, the prime minister said.
He called on Arab Israelis to not "get caught up in the propaganda of incitement. You are citizens with equal rights. Your obligation is to obey the law."
Earlier on Tuesday, Abbas accused Israel of causing the current escalation in tensions. Speaking at a ceremony honoring Former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas accused Israel of instigating a religious war through its actions in Jerusalem.
“The leaders of Israel are making a grave mistake by thinking that history can move backwards and that they could impose facts on the ground by dividing the Aksa Mosque in time and space, as they did with the Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.”
Abbas warned that Israel’s actions would plunge the region and the entire world into a destructive religious war. He said that Muslims and Christians would never accept claims that Jerusalem belongs to Israel.
“Jerusalem will only be the capital of a Palestinian state,” he added. “We will preserve Jerusalem and defend its religious sites.”
Abbas said that Palestinians wouldn’t allow settlers and extremists to “contaminate our holy sites.”
He also reiterated his intention to seek a Security Council resolution recognizing the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state.