Netanyahu Responds: Abbas is Encouraging Calamity
Just minutes after Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced at the UN in New York on Wednesday that the PA is abandoning the 1994 Oslo Accords, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office issued a sharp response.
“Abu Mazen’s speech is false and encourages incitement and calamity in the Middle East,” said Netanyahu, using Abbas’s kunya name and rebutting his numerous claims that Israel is breaching international law and agreements.
“Unlike the Palestinians, Israel devotedly maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount and is obligated to continue keeping it according to agreements between us and the Jordanians and the Waqf.”
The statement refers to the holiest site in Judaism, which has been the site of a growing wave of Arab violence and rioting timed to the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
Under the “status quo,” the Jordanian Waqf maintains de facto control and bansJewish prayer at the site despite Israeli laws stipulating freedom of worship.
“We expect and call on the (Palestinian) Authority and its leaders to act with responsibility and to answer the proposal of the Prime Minister of Israel to meet for a direct negotiation with Israel, with no preconditions,” continued Netanyahu’s statement.
“The fact that time after time this has gone unanswered is the best evidence that he (Abbas) is not interested in peace,” he added. The statement is made more meaningful by Abbas’s claims in his UN speech that he was holding direct communication with Israel.