As Palestinian violence rocks Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited the Temple Mount on Monday where he declared that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Palestinian state.
The visit was coordinated with Israeli security officials. Hamdallah was accompanied by PA General Intelligence Service chief Majed Faraj and Preventive Security Service commander Ziad Hab al-Reeh.
“Jerusalem is a redline, and so is the Aqsa Mosque,” Hamdallah told reporters. “We will go to all international institutions and Islamic and Arab countries to request that they stand against Israeli violations in Jerusalem.”
Hamdallah accused Israel of attempting to Judaize the Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem. “We came here to say that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state and an important part of the national program,” he said.
“Occupation is illegal and illegitimate,” Hamdallah continued. “All Israeli measures and the settlements are illegal.”
Hamdallah vowed that the Palestinian government would morally and financially support Arab residents of Jerusalem.
Two people died, including a three-month-old baby, and seven others were injured. The terrorist, Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, was shot while trying to escape the scene. He died hours later from his wounds.
Also on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting violence against Israel. The prime minister said that Abbas was joining with radical Islamists to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
In his opening speech to the Knesset’s winter session, Netanyahu said that it was unacceptable for Abbas to accuse Israel of committing genocide. He slammed Abbas’s repeated calls on Palestinians to prevent Jews from “desecrating the Temple Mount.”
Netanyahu said that Abbas was “encouraging the escalation we see in Jerusalem. And against that escalation we will take action until we restore quiet.”