Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

Al Quds, 21 Dzulhijjah 1436/5 October 2015 (MINA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called on the international community to protect Palestinians from increasing violence by Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

According to Palestine’s official WAFA news agency, Abbas, in a telephone call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged the latter to act before tensions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank mounted further, Anadolu Agency  quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting

Abbas reportedly told Ban that Palestinians needed protection from “provocations by Jewish settlers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque [in occupied East Jerusalem] and the blocking of roads and raids on Palestinian villages [by settlers], all of which is being done under Israeli army protection.”

Due to a series of recent Jewish holidays, Israel has restricted Palestinian access to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, while allowing groups of extremist Jews to enter the site – despite a longstanding ban on non-Muslim prayer in the Al-Aqsa compound.

Recent incursions into the site by Jewish extremists – backed by Israeli security forces – have led to numerous clashes with Palestinian Muslim worshipers.

On Sunday, after two Israelis were killed in Palestinian knife attacks, the Israeli authorities imposed a two-day ban on Palestinians entering East Jerusalem’s Old City unless they are residents of the area.

Several clashes have also erupted in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Jewish settlers on Thursday went on an anti-Palestinian rampage – during which they attacked Palestinians and Palestinian property – following the murder of two Israeli settlers.

“Palestine has witnessed an alarming and deliberate escalation by Israel, particularly at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem’s Old City,” Hanan Ashrawi, a leading member of Abbas’ Palestinian Liberation Organization, said in a Sunday statement.

“Meanwhile, rampaging [Jewish] settlers enjoy the protection of [Israeli] occupation forces and the political backing of the Israeli government,” she added.

Ashrawi went on to accuse Israel of carrying out “collective punishment” against Palestinians following recent anti-Palestinian violence by settlers in the West Bank, which, she said, “constitutes proof that the Israeli government is deliberately creating a situation of violence and instability.”

She added: “It’s time for the international community to undertake its responsibility… to put an end to this lethal situation.”  (T/P010/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)