Palestinian President Abbas Condemns Jerusalem Holy Site Attack — But Hamas leader Usamah Hamdan praised the attack

JERUSALEM — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Friday and condemned a deadly shooting attack near Jerusalem’s holiest site, Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

“The President expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place at al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship,” Wafa said.

Abbas called on Netanyahu to end the shutdown of the holy site, where three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen and wounded a third. Netanyahu assured Abbas the long-standing status quo at the compound, which gives Muslims exclusive prayer rights, would be maintained, Wafa said.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by Maayan Lubell)




 JULY 14, 2017 13:28
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terror attack at Temple Mount before calling on Israel to reverse decision to halt Friday prayers.
Muslims pray on street

Muslims pray on the street outside the Old City. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

During a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned Friday morning’s attack on the Temple Mount, the official PA media agency Wafa reported.

Abbas also expressed his disapproval of Israel’s decision to close the Temple Mount compound and called on Netanyahu to reverse the decision.

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Netanyahu affirmed that there will be no change to the status quo on the Temple Mount, the Wafa report said.

The Prime Minister also called for calming of the situation.

The Wafa report added that the PA made phone calls with Jordanian officials in an effort to reopen the Temple Mount.

Fatah called on Muslim worshipers to go to the Temple Mount on Friday, after Israeli authorities canceled Fridayprayers at the site following a shooting attack there. 

“Set out for the al Aksa Mosque,” Fatah said on its official Facebook page, referring to the mosque located on the Temple Mount

“We call on our people to go the al Aksa Mosque, pray there, and break the Israeli siege that aims to change the historical sites of the holy city and judaize them.”


Thousands of Muslims traditionally pray on the Temple Mount on Friday.


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said there are no plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.


“There is no danger to the Temple Mount. There is no desire to change the status quo,” Erdan said.


The al Aksa Mosque Director Amar al-Kiswani said Friday prayers on the Temple Mount have not been canceled since 1967.


“This is message not only to Palestinians, but also to the Arab and Muslim world,” Kiswani said in a statement. “This is a dangerous matter igniting the situation in the al-Aksa Mosque and along its surroundings.”


The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammed Hussein also called on Muslim worshipers to go to the Temple Mount.


“There is no force on earth that will prevent them [Muslim worshipers] from going to the al Aksa and performing Friday prayers there,” Hussein said.


Police said the Temple Mount will remain closed for an undisclosed amount of time until the conclusion of an investigation into Friday morning’s attack, which they called “extreme and exceptional.”


Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Israeli security forces canceled Friday prayers to make sure “no weapons” are on the Temple Mount.


“We hope that freedom of worship will be restored as soon as possible,” Mordechai said.


The Police said the attack on the Temple Mount left three wounded, two in critical condition and one lightly injured.

Image result for Usamah Hamdan, photos

Hamas leader Usamah Hamdan praised the attack

Hamas leader Usamah Hamdan praised the attack, calling it a “natural response the occupation’s crimes.”


“The al Aksa clash is a badge of honor on the chest of the Muslim nation and Palestinian people, a natural response to the occupation’s crimes at the expense of our people and holy sites, and an affirmation that resistance is not terrorism,” Hamdan said in a post on his Twitter account.

Hamas regularly endorses stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem.



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