Palestinians mull appeal to UNSC over ‘serious Israeli violations in Temple Mount’ 12Oct13 October 12, 2013

Haaretz    -    11 October 2013

863304933Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian television Thursday evening that the PA is considering appealing to the United Nations Security Council and other UN institutions against what he termed “serious Israeli violations, especially in Jerusalem and at the Temple Mount.”

Abbas said that “Israel has no right to split up the Al-Aqsa Mosque neither physically nor in terms of prayer times. All East Jerusalem is Palestinian.”

Abbas went on to claim that, “Settlers enter the Temple Mount guarded by Israeli police officers daily. Throughout the West Bank they attack Palestinians and destroy their property, while the army sits idly by, sometimes even protecting them. This situation could lead to a regional conflagration and undermine the efforts to reach a peace treaty. We warned the Israelis and the Americans from the consequences of these incidents, which is why we are considering appealing to the Security Council.”

The Palestinian president also commented on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s speech in Bar Ilan University last week. He said that “Netanyahu’s refusal to recognize a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, his insistence that a united Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital and his demand that we recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state indicate that he isn’t interested in continuing with the negotiations.”

He added that without a Palestinian East Jerusalem and without the recognition of the 1967 borders with minor corrections, a peace treaty is unattainable.

Meanwhile, several Palestinian factions, including the Hamas, the Fatah and organizations active in Jerusalem, called Palestinians to attend mass prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and at the checkpoints leading to Jerusalem in protest of what they termed “settler violations.” They also called Palestinians living in East Jerusalem to boycott the municipal elections scheduled to take place on October 22, claiming that participation constitutes recognition of Israeli sovereignty and the occupation.

Regarding the Israeli release of long-held Palestinian prisoners, Abbas said that it had nothing to do with the negotiations, rather it was granted in return for the Palestinians pulling their appeals to the United Nations. According to him, if Israel will not implement its side in the understanding concerning the release of 104 prisoners in four stages this would be a violation of the agreement, but “on our end, we will stick to the negotiation timetable agreed upon with Secretary of State Kerry nine months ago.”

Abbas didn’t comment on the incidents of the past few weeks in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and nine-year-old Noam Glick was wounded (The interview took place before Seraiah Ofer was murdered Thursday night), though he did say that the Palestinian Authority will not allow chaos in its territory and will take action to eradicate crime and use of weapons.

Regarding the Palestinian reconciliation, Abbas shifted the blame to the Hamas. He claimed that in violation of the Cairo and Doha agreements that state that the Palestinians are to hold an election, Hamas is insisting on the formation of a national unity government first and only then hold an election. According to him, the issue of reconciliation is also stalled because of the state of the Hamas’ relations with the Egyptian government since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Abbas also mentioned the recent events in the Arab world and especially in Syria. He claimed that despite the official Palestinian policy not to intervene in the conflict, the situation in Syria requires the intervention of all parties. He stated that 600 thousand Palestinians live in Syria adding that they require immediate assistance. This week Abbas sent Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki to Damascus. Zaki met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the two discussed options for helping Palestinian refugees.

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