Paris, 9 Dzulhijjah 1436/23 September 2015 (MINA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday of a potential outbreak of a third Intifada following continued Israeli violations and attacks against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem.
The Palestinian leader spoke at a joint press conference in Paris with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
“What is happening is very serious,” Abbas said, urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put an end to these “practices”, warning of “chaos” and the outbreak of an “Intifada that we do not want.”
“We already expressed our commitment not to change anything with regards to the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Hollande added, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Tensions have been running high in the West Bank and Jerusalem in the past week with a number of clashes erupting after groups of Jewish settlers forced their way into Muslim holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
Meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow later Tuesday, Abbas added: “Israel is trying to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, I mean worship places and time.”
For Muslims, the mosque represents the third holiest site in the world. In the Jewish faith, the area is referred to as the Temple Mount, the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Certain Jewish groups have called for the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order for a Jewish temple to be built in its place.
In September of 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the Second Intifada — a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem – where Al-Aqsa is located – during the 1967 Six Day War. It was later annexed to the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community. (T/P001/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)