Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released a pre-recorded speech to the Palestinian public Wednesday night in which he mostly repeated statements from past speeches, refraining from calling for a de-escalation.
Abbas did not attempt calm the tensions during the speech, instead reiterating his claim that Israel is attempting to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount, the same claim that sparked the clashes.
"The Israeli attack against our people, our land, and the holy places threatens peace and stability," the Palestinian leader said, warning that the current escalation could lead to a holy war that will "burn everything."
Abbas said such a religious conflict would be global, and called on the international community to intervene before it was too late.
Abbas refrained from condemning any of the recent stabbing attacks in Israel, avoiding the topic altogether. He also avoided calling upon his people to deescalate the situation, in contrast to two previous speeches in recent weeks.
The Palestinian president also referred to al-Aqsa Mosque in his speech, saying, "We have said it clearly: We will not accept a change in the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque that would damage its sanctity and its character."
Abbas also emphasized that the Palestinians would not surrender to the "Israeli aggression" against the Palestinian people, their holy places, homes, and the "executions of children like Ahmed Manasra," referring to the 13-year-old who conducted a stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze'ev. Abbas, who waved a picture of the young terrorist lying on the road, failed to mention that Manasra is, in fact, currently alive and receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital.
Abbas added that "it is our right to continue our peaceful struggle in order to achieve our independence, and our victory will come." He also threatened to continue the Palestinian accession to international organizations, adding that they would continue to file cases against Israel at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. "Anyone who fears international law and punishment – should stop committing crimes," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in response that "Abbas's speech tonight was filled with incitement and lies. The young boy he referred to is currently hospitalized at Hadassah after he stabbed an Israeli child who was riding his bike." The statement continued to say that, "While Israel protects the status-quo on the Temple Mount, Abbas has used religion to incite more acts of terror."
Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinian UN ambassador accused Israel of acting in "the most savage, shameful" way, pointing to Palestinian statistics showing 30 people killed, including seven children, in the latest violence and about 1,500 wounded, a great majority youngsters.
Riyad Mansour told reporters that Arab ambassadors will meet Thursday afternoon to discuss an Arab League call to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the current violence.
He said Thursday's meeting would decide on next steps which could also include a new UN draft resolution.
Mansour said a resolution would likely condemn "aggression by the Israelis," demand withdrawal of all armed Israelis from points of confrontation — particularly in Jerusalem's Old City and at its holy sites, and call for protection for the Palestinian people.