Abbas does not want ‘escalation’ with Israel
Abbas’s statement came after Israel announced harsher measures to tackle engulfed violence with Palestinians
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday he did not want the current violence in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank to escalate into a military confrontation with Israel.
“We tell them (the Israelis) that we do not want either military or security escalation,” Abbas said at a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “All our instructions to our (security) agencies, our factions and our youth have been that we do not want escalation.”
His statement came after Israel announced harsher measures to tackle engulfed violence with Palestinians on Monday as a Palestinian teenager was killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, a Palestinian hospital source said.
In a related story, Israeli forces destroyed the homes of two Palestinian militants and sealed off part of a third in Jerusalem on Tuesday, in a crackdown launched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after four Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks.
Four Israelis have been killed and three wounded since Thursday in two stabbings and a drive-by shooting blamed on Palestinian militants. Police shot dead two of the assailants.
Two Palestinians, one of them a teen, have been killed and about 170 injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank since Sunday.
Israel is to lift temporary restrictions on Muslim worship at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, imposed after the weekend killing of two Israelis nearby, police said Tuesday.
“So far the decision is to return to normal procedures, with no restrictions on entry of worshippers,” spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement, warning the decision could change if security concerns dictated it.
The easing is due to take effect with Wednesday’s Muslim prayers at the site.
Violence has intensified in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank in recent weeks, raising concerns of a wider escalation and a possible uprising, though it has not reached the level of past Israeli-Palestinian confrontations.
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