Abbas emphasized the importance of including the PA in any plan to rebuild the Gaza Strip after fighting between Israel and Hamas.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH MAY 25, 2021 JP
PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas is depicted on a banner hung on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City last year. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas must include banning visits by Jews to al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Egypt and Jordan.
Abbas made the demand during separate meetings with Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry and Foreign Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi, who both visited Ramallah in the past 24 hours.
Abbas emphasized the importance of including the PA in any plan to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the recent round of war between Israel and Hamas.
He also told the Arab ministers that he was ready to work with the US administration and other three members of the Quartet – Russia, United Nations, and European Union – to revive the peace process with Israel on the basis of international resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Referring to the ceasefire that went into effect on Friday morning, Abbas told Safadi on Tuesday that the period of calm between Israel and Hamas must include “stopping attacks and incursions by extremist settlers, backed by the Israeli occupation forces, on al-Aqsa Mosque and on our people in the West Bank.”
Palestinians regularly refer to visits by Jews to the Temple Mount as “incursions,” in which the Jews “storm” the Temple Mount. The visits resumed on Sunday after a three-week pause.
During the meeting with Shoukry on Monday, Abbas praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi’s offer to contribute $500 million to rebuild the Gaza Strip. Shoukry said he delivered a message to Abbas from Sisi affirming Egypt’s solidarity with the PA leadership and Palestinian people.
The visits of the two foreign ministers were coordinated with the Palestinians ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s tour of the region.
Abbas told Shoukry and Safadi that the PA must be part of any plan for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
He also stressed the need to revive the peace process with Israel under the auspices of the Quartet members – the US, United Nations, European Union and Russia – in order to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Safadi said that he delivered a message from King Abdullah to Abbas expressing Jordan’s “support for ending the Israeli aggression on the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the holy sites.”
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah after meeting with PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki, Safadi described the positions of the US administration toward the Palestinian issue as “positive.”
The Jordanians and Palestinians were discussing how to translate the “positive” positions into deeds in order to achieve a “two-state solution,” Safadi said, adding that the “escalation in Palestine won’t stop unless Israel halted its illegal measures and assaults on al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Safadi also warned that the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah would be considered a “war crime” that will “lead to an explosion in Palestine.”