by Nir Hasson and Jack Khoury 17 October 2014 Haaretz
Calls for continued Palestinian presence at the mosque to defend it 'by any means possible.'
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Friday for the defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israel. Abbas stated that the holy site was being desecrated by settlers and that a continued Palestinian presence is required there to protect it.
Speaking at the West Bank town of Albira, Abbas stressed that a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital would be impossible.
Palestinians "must be present at the Al-Aqsa Mosque," he said. "We must stop them (the settlers) from entering by any means possible. This is our mosque and they have no right to enter it and defile it."
The Palestinian president called for actions to replace words in regards to Jerusalem. "Al Quds," said Abbas, referring to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, "has a special place in the heart of every Palestinian, of every Arab, be they Muslim or Christian, Al Quds is the jewel in the crown and the eternal capital of the Palestinian people, and without which there will be no state."
Abbas also reiterated the position held by the Palestinian leadership, in regards to seeking the acknowledgement of the UN Security Council, that the areas occupied by Israel since 1967 be recognized as the territory of a future Palestinian state, rather than contested areas, as considered by Israel
Concerning domestic Palestinian affairs, Abbas insisted on holding elections in the West Bank and Gaza within six months, and noted that the Fatah general committee will convene at the end of the year and "breathe life" into the organization by allowing the younger generation to assume leadership roles.
"We have faith in a generational shift, in the movement from one generation to the other, until the final goal is reached, in the form of Palestinian statehood," he said.
Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas blamed the Palestinian Authority of harassing its activists in the West Bank and dispersing demonstrations organized by Hamas in support of Al-Aqsa. A statement issued by Hamas said PA police forces forcibly dispersed rallies organized by Hamas in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah and detained some of its men.
Hamas said this was against Abbas's statements on defending Al-Aqsa and called on the Palestinian government and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to order the security agencies to follow the law.
Clashes between police and Palestinian youths erupted Monday on the Temple Mount, the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Palestinian rioters, some of them masked, hurled stones and threw firecrackers and firebombs at the police. A police force broke into the compound and was able to push the rioters back inside the mosque, amd to dismantle barricades set up by the protesters and close the doors, locking the rioters inside the mosque.
Since 2004, the Temple Mount is open to Jewish and non-Muslim tourists for a few hours each day.
Police, Palestinians clash throughout E. J’lem over holiday
The Simhat Torah holiday was tense and violent in the Old City of Jerusalem and East Jerusalem. An Israeli Border Police officer was lightly injured on Thursday by a firecracker during a clash between Palestinian youths and police forces in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood.
Similar to many cases over the last few months, many minors and children were involved in the disturbances. On Thursday morning, dozens of masked individuals, including many children, attempted to attack a school in the Ma’ale Hazeitim Jewish neighborhood within the A-Tur neighborhood. Border Police officers on the scene began using crowd dispersal tactics, and one of them was injured in the neck by a firecrackers fired by one of the demonstrators. The officer was taken to Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus in a moderate condition.
A Jerusalem Police spokesman stated that the police “take any incident very seriously in which adult rioters endanger children with violent activities.”
Clashes began in the Old City as early as Tuesday night, after Jerusalem District Police banned Muslims under the age of 50 from entering the Temple Mount compound. On Wednesday, clashes erupted between hundreds of youths who were not allowed into the compound and police forces. The Palestinians threw firecrackers, stones and bottles at the police, who responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades. Four Palestinians were arrested and three police officers were lightly injured by stones.
Due to the ongoing violence, the police closed the Temple Mount to Jewish visitors and tourists earlier than normal. At the same time, hundreds of police officers stood watch as thousands of Jewish visitors prayed at the nearby Western Wall.
Later that day, clashes broke out in the Issawiya and Jabal Mukaber neighborhoods. In Issawiya, police forces arrested three children aged 11, 13 and 14. According to the police, the three were caught throwing stones.
During the afternoon Palestinians also threw stones at the Jerusalem light rail in the Shoafat neighborhood, and caused damage to one of the train cars. Stones were also thrown at an Israeli vehicle in A-Tur. In both cases, no casualties were reported.