Itongadol.- The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. The incitement includes the spread of false claims against Israel, in particular regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The culture of hate in the Palestinian media, schools and social networks, together with the statements of Palestinian leaders, has reached new and gruesome heights.
The Palestinian Authority, including its chairman Mahmoud Abbas, are using inflammatory Islamic rhetoric to spread false and malicious claims against Israel, and treat those who engage in the murder of Israelis as heroes. These statements amount to official incitement to violence and can only serve to exacerbate the situation.
Radical Islamists are bringing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and other weaponry onto the Temple Mount, thus deliberately desecrating, damaging and endangering the holy site and turning it into a battle field. The militarization of a site revered by all should be universally condemned. The aim of these elements is to change the status quo and to prevent visits by non-Muslims on the Mount.
The status quo protects the right of Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, as well as the freedom of all people, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or others, to visit the Mount. Visits to the Temple Mount over the past year included nearly 4,000,000 entries by Muslims, about 200,000 entries by Christians, and about 12,000 entries by Jews.
Israel, for its part, is making every effort to restore calm. It guarantees freedom of worship for members of all faiths and is strongly committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. Israel has never made any attempt to change the status quo, and any claim to the contrary is a lie.
Israel also remains committed to dialogue with the Palestinian leadership and would like to see the renewal of direct peace talks as soon as possible.