World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday said that his government had already started taking international legal measures against the background of a plan by Israeli settlers to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Abbas said Israeli settlers work to divide the mosque through their repeated violations against it.
"Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque have been suffering attacks by settlers for a long time," Abbas said at the beginning of a meeting of the revolutionary council of his Fatah movement in Ramallah.
He said these attacks aim at dividing the Islamic place of worship, calling on Palestinians to defend the mosque.
"We have started taking the necessary international legal measures," Abbas said.
He said he talked about aggressions against the Gaza Strip at the United Nations and that his government wanted to get a Security Council resolution that put an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Hamas slams Abbas' call for defending Al-Aqsa
Meanwhile, the Palestinian faction Hamas on Saturday downplayed a previous invitation by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for Palestinians to stay at Al-Aqsa Mosque to defend it against Israeli violations.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zurhi described the Palestinian Authority President's invitation as "untruthful."
On Friday, Abbas called on Palestinians to stay at the mosque to defend it against the background of Israeli violations in it.
Addressing attendees at the second congress of his Fatah movement, Abbas added that all Palestinians needed to stay at the mosque to defend it against Israel's violations.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday fiercely criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after he called for preventing Israeli settlers from breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
He wrote on his Facebook page that by calling for preventing Jews from visiting the area Abbas wanted to spark tensions in the region by making use of the most sensitive place in this region.
Lieberman even accused Abbas and the Palestinian Authority of standing behind what he described as the "riots" of the residents of East Jerusalem.
"This is our mosque [Al-Aqsa}, and this is our church and they [the settlers] do not have the right to enter them and defile them," Abbas said during a conference on the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Lieberman, meanwhile, said these remarks revealed the "true" face of the Palestinian Authority President.
He accused him of denying the Holocaust and being anti-Semite, saying Abbas talked about the establishment of a Palestinian state that does not have Jews in it.
The Israeli Foreign Minister added that Abbas incited the international community against Israel and even called for a religious war.
Tensions continue to linger between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority President, even as the Gaza-based movement signed a reconciliation deal with Abbas' Fatah movement in April to end years of division between them.
Abu Zuhri said Abbas' invitation for defending Al-Aqsa contradicted the practices of Palestinian security agencies, saying these agencies "suppress" Palestinians who defend Al-Aqsa Mosque on the streets of the occupied West Bank.
"Palestinian Authority agencies also continue to make the resistance hand-tied and prevent it from carrying out its duty of defending Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque," Abu Zuhri said in a press release.
Palestinian policemen on Friday dispersed Hamas-organized protests in some of the cities of the West Bank against Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque, eyewitnesses said.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli leader Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ekim 2014, 10:40