Palestinian PM Fayyad
Photo: AP
Photo: Reuters
Riots in Jerusalem
Photo: Reuters

PA: World must prevent Judaization of Jerusalem

Government in Ramallah blasts 'plan by Jews to perform religious rituals' in Temple Mount,' calls on international community to 'force Israel to put off its attempts to take over Jerusalem'

The Western-backed Palestinian government pledged on Monday "to confront Israel" as Israeli troops clashed with protesters for a second day in the Jerusalem area.


Youths hurled rocks at policemen and burned cardboard cartons and trash in the streets of Shuafat in Arab east Jerusalem, after Israel arrested a teenager it suspects stabbed and wounded a soldier conducting a security check on a bus.


The violence spread to the outskirts of Ramallah, where about 50 Palestinian teenagers took cover behind trucks and cars while hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers, who reporters saw responding by firing tear gas and rubber bullets.


One policeman was injured by a rock and seven protesters were arrested. Nine Palestinians and two Israeli policemen were treated for minor injuries in scuffles that erupted in Jerusalem on Sunday, and 30 were hurt in similar clashes a week ago.


Palestinians have warned that the tensions flaring over access to a holy compound housing the al-Aqsa mosque, an area also revered by Jews as the site of an ancient temple, could, on the background of stalled peace talks, ignite a third uprising.


The Palestinian cabinet, issuing a strong statement after a meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah, called on Palestinians "to confront Israel and its plans", and accused the Jewish state of seeking to deny Palestinians a goal of achieving statehood in land Israel captured in a 1967 war.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, in principle, to a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but peace talks have remained stalled for months despite US efforts to revive them, over Israel's refusal to halt Jewish settlement building.  

Riots near Shufat (Photo: Reuters)


The Palestinian statement also took aim at controversy over Jerusalem, and condemned what it called a plan by Jews to "perform religious rituals" in a compound containing the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site.


"The Palestinian cabinet calls on all international, Arab and Muslim elements to take responsibility for the developments in Israel and force it to put off its attempts to take over Jerusalem and Judaize it," the statement read.


The Palestinian cabinet also criticized the Israeli government's plan to build thousands of housing units south of Jerusalem. Ramallah condemned "all of Israel's attempts to expand the settlements in territories that have been occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem."


Jerusalem is a key and highly emotive issue in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.


Israel captured Arab east Jerusalem in a 1967 war and annexed it as part of its capital in a move never recognized internationally. Palestinians want the city as capital of a future state.


Violence in Jerusalem flared on Sunday after Israel briefly shut gates leading to the compound around al-Aqsa, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, citing concerns for possible violence as hundreds of Jews held holiday prayers at the adjacent Western Wall.


The gates were partly reopened once calm was restored after stone-throwing protests by Palestinians in anger at being kept from reaching the holy site. There was no violence in the area on Monday when thousands of Jews worshipped at the Western Wall.


Israeli Police Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch vowed to "take all necessary action" to prevent further violence.


Ilan Franco, Israel's police chief for Jerusalem, appealed for calm, condemning what he called some isolated people "from all sectors (who) are generating a warlike atmosphere.


פרסום ראשון: 10.05.09, 18:54
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