Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a public appeal for calm on Tuesday as a recent spike in deadly violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank threaten to spiral into armed confrontation with Israel.
"We want to reach a political solution peacefully, and no other solution," said Abbas. "We want to minimize the risks of destruction and loss that will sprout on all sides in the current situation."
The Palestinian president lay blame on Israel for the recent violence. "We say to the Israelis: Stop building in the settlements and come to the negotiating table," he said. "We will be willing to return to negotiations and discuss the agreements that have been violated and neglected by Israel since Oslo and until now.
"We are committed to these agreements, but it is unreasonable for us to be the only ones who are committed to them," he continued. "If Israel does not want these agreements, we do not want to implement them.
"All our instructions to our agencies, our factions and our youth have been that we do not want escalation, but we do want to protect ourselves."
With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks dormant since 2014, recent bloodshed has raised concerns about a wider escalation and a possible Third Intifada, though it has not reached the level of past Palestinian uprisings.
Abbas' comments were made at a gathering of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a series of security measures that fell short of an extensive military operation.
As part of Netanyahu's pledged steps to stem what he termed a "wave of terrorism," Israeli forces destroyed the homes of two Palestinian militants and sealed off part of a third in and around Jerusalem before dawn on Tuesday, the Israeli military said.
The militants had carried out attacks on Israelis in 2014 and had all been shot dead by Israeli security forces. Their families still resided in the three homes in question.
Israel has said such demolitions are punitive and can also serve as a deterrent to other potential attackers. Human rights groups condemn the demolition policy as collective punishment.
Netanyahu, who visited an army base in the West Bank on Tuesday, said other measures would include installing security cameras on West Bank roads and a greater Israeli police presence in East Jerusalem.
Recent tensions have been inflamed in particular by frequent clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem.
Palestinians fear increasing visits by Jewish groups to al-Aqsa Mosque, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, are eroding longtime Muslim religious control there. Netanyahu has said he is committed to maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa.