Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas encouraged Muslims to continue efforts at preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Speaking at a conference in Ramallah on Friday, Abbas called on Palestinians to prevent “settlers” from entering the Temple Mount compound using “all means” at their disposal.
“It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means. This is our Aqsa…and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it,” he said.
The Temple Mount, the location where the Jewish temples once stood, is Judaism’s holiest site. Currently, the Al-Aqsa mosque complex is located on the Temple Mount and is controlled by the Muslim Waqf. Jews and non-Muslims are forbidden from praying or carrying out religious rituals on the Temple Mount.
The Palestinian leader said that “defending Al-Aqsa” was the same as defending Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown and it is the eternal capital of the Palestinian state,” he said. “Without it, there will not be a state.”
“It is important for the Palestinians to be united in order to protect Jerusalem,” he added.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to protest the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. The protest was organized by the Hamas terror group who is believed to be the main organizer and supporter behind regular violence on the Temple Mount.