Abbas: Closure of al-Aqsa "declaration of war"

Published October 30th, 2014 - 10:53 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has warned that a decision by the Israeli government to block the access of all visitors to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound amounts to a “declaration of war.”

“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying on Thursday.

He also added that the closure of the holy site would fuel “more tension and instability” in the occupied lands.

Rudeina added that Palestinians hold the Israeli government “responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem (al-Quds) that has reached its peak through the closure of the al-Aqsa mosque this morning.”

“The state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable and to stop these ongoing attacks,” he said.

Israeli forces have denied all Palestinians entry into the al-Aqsa Mosque over the death of an Israeli right-wing activist.

Israeli forces also raided the East al-Quds (Jerusalem) neighborhood of Abu Tor and shot dead a former Palestinian prisoner in his house in al-Quds.

Moataz Hejazi, 32, was seriously injured when Israeli forces stormed his home in the Abu Tor neighborhood and opened fire on him. He succumbed to injuries after being left on the scene for more than half an hour.

Israel accused the Palestinian of shooting far-right Israeli rabbi Yehuda Glick on Wednesday.

The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy site in Islam. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest mosque after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

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