Following a day of clashes between security forces and Arab rioters in Jerusalem, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Sunday evening stated that the fate of the capital would be determined by force, not negotiations.
"The fate of Jerusalem will be determined only by confrontation and not by the negotiating tables," Mashaal said in a speech, according to Channel 10.
"The Israelis want to divide al-Aqsa Mosque, and this is not all. They want to hold their religious ceremonies in the mosque â€¦ in preparation for demolishing it and building their temple there," he reportedly said.
Israel is interested in determining the Jerusalem issue unilaterally so that the issue is not included in negotiations with the Palestinians, Masha'al claimed.
"Jerusalem is all of Jerusalem, not only [the east Jerusalem neighborhood of] Abu-Dis. The Arabs and Muslims are [the city's] residents, and the Zionists have no claim over it," he said.
"I call for angry protests in Palestine and in the Arab world. Today, protests began in [the] Gaza [Strip], and we hope they will spread to the West Bank. It is important for there to be a united Palestinian position. We must send a message to the world: In light of the settlements and actions in Jerusalem, there are no negotiations and we must rethink our steps," the Hamas leader concluded.