Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: AFP)

Ramallah, 3 Muharram 1435/27 October 2014 (MINA) – Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday warned against the dangers entailed in measures taken by Israel with the aim of dividing holy sites in the Palestinian territories.

In an urgent message he sent to the U.S. administration, Abbas said Israel’s continued measures would lead to a “wide-reaching explosion” that could not be controlled, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Abbas held Israel responsible for what he described in the message, which was reported by the official Palestinian news agency, as this “dangerous escalation.”

He called on the U.S. administration to quickly intervene to stop Israeli escalations in East Jerusalem and especially stop violations by extremist Israeli settlers against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel’s Knesset (parliament) plans to vote next month on a bill that will open the door for the division of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The bill will also open the door for Jewish prayers inside the Islamic house of worship.

In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli leader 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. (T/P001/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)