abbas pointing finger 311 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel has crossed every red line and made prospects for peace even dimmer in clashing with Muslim worshipers on the Temple Mount, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement released Friday evening.
Abbas said Israeli security forces, which he termed the “occupation
army,” were “provoking” members of other faiths in a way that could
“set off a religious war in the region.” He warned that “Israeli
escapades” in east Jerusalem would have repercussions not just in the
city and the Middle East, but also in Muslim world.
The PA president urged the US and the international community to intervene and stop tensions from escalating further.The PA president urged the US and the international community to intervene and stop tensions from escalating further.
Syria also condemned what it termed Israel's "desecration of Arab and Islamic sanctities" in Jerusalem on Friday, adding its voice to those opposing indirect negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.
"The desecration ... comes at a time when the majority of the Arab League Council's memebers adopted the indirect Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," read a statement released by the Syrian Foreign Ministry and quoted by SANA. It further noted that the clashes serve as "extra evidence on Israel's non-seriousness about peace ... and a proof of the Israeli anti-peace policy that aims at liquidating the Palestinian cause."
Echoing Abbas's earlier statement, Damascus called Friday's incident a "blatant provocation to the feeling of hundreds of millions of Muslims."
Eighteen policemen were lightly wounded in their attempt to restore
order on the Temple Mount after Arab youths emerging from Friday
prayers started hurling rocks down onto those worshiping at the Western
Having restored calm by use of stun grenades, and
following helpful intervention by other Muslim worshipers to defuse the
clash, police eventually withdrew in coordination with the Waqf to
worshipers to leave the Temple Mount.
Eight of the injured policemen were hospitalized in light condition. Five suspects were arrested during the riots.
Ron Krumer, a spokesman for Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center,
confirmed an Arab woman was wounded in the head by a rubber
bullet and hospitalized in serious condition. Palestinian medics
reported 13 injuries.
Police denied using rubber bullets to disperse the riot.
Najeh Btirat, a Waqf official, said the clash followed a mosque sermon on the issue.
Friday sermon focused on the Islamic sites that are being targeted by
Israel and the need to preserve them," he said. About 300 young men
threw stones at police after prayers, he said.
Rock-throwing then spilled over into Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter. Police
deployed stun grenades, restoring calm.Throughout the afternoon, stun grenades fired by security forces could be
heard exploding in the Muslim Quarter. The faces and bloodshot eyes of Arab medics, who could be seen running
through the alleyways, clearly reflected the usage of tear gas. Crowds were
milling around waiting for something to happen.
In the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud, some 20 Arab youths threw rocks at security forces. They
were later dispersed. Clashes also broke out at the entrance to Issawiya, near the French Hill.
From the , across the valley, smoke could be
seen rising up from Ras el-Amud as the young men throwing rocks at police set garbage on fire.
Skirmishes also broke out to the south, in the West Bank city of
Hebron, after Friday prayers but no serious injuries were reported. A
group of about 100 Palestinians protested outside the holy site known
to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi
Last Sunday, Jerusalem’s Old City erupted in violence as clashes
between Arab rioters and security forces broke out on the Temple Mount
and spread into the alleyways of the Muslim Quarter and the east
Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud. Four policemen were wounded and
upwards of a dozen Muslim protesters were reportedly hurt during the
The repeated clashes in Jerusalem follow Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu's announcement incorporating the Cave of the Patriarch's in
Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem onto Israel's list of national
Meanwhile on Friday afternoon, some
250 Palestinians and left-wing activists clashed with security forces
in violent protests in the Ramallah area.
No one was wounded in the demonstrations in the villages of Na'alin, Bil’in and Dir Nizam.