Dahlan: 'Palestinians don't want third intifada'

Police lift Temple Mount

Ras el-Amud 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Ras el-Amud 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
While police lifted restrictions on entrance to the Aksa Mosque, Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan on Sunday warned that riots in Jerusalem could continue if "settlers" were allowed to enter the Temple Mount compound. "The riots will not end as long as [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu continues sending settlers to pray at al-Aksa Mosque," Dahlan told Israel Radio. However, Dahlan stressed that the Palestinians were not interested in a third intifada or in clashes with IDF soldiers. The Fatah official went on to draw a comparison between suicide attacks and the establishment of West Bank settlements, saying there was no difference between blowing up a bus in Tel Aviv and stealing Palestinian lands. Also Sunday, police in Jerusalem lifted the restrictions that were imposed on worshipers wishing to enter the al-Aksa Mosque compound last week after assessing that the crisis was nearing its end. A large presence of security forces will nonetheless be kept in the Jerusalem area if violence erupts again. Jordanian ambassador Ali al-Ayed reached an agreement with Israel on Saturday night according to which remaining Muslim worshipers who had refused to leave the compound as of last Sunday will be permitted to leave without being arrested. On Friday, 12 policemen were wounded as Palestinian rioters clashed with security forces in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiya, Ras el-Amud and Sur Baher.