RAMALLAH, July 21, 2017 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he has decided to suspend all contacts with Israel until the latter cancels all measures it has implemented against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Abbas, who cut short a trip to China and returned home following the deterioration in the situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque, headed an urgent joint meeting for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah Central Committee to discuss strategy in confronting the Israeli measures.
Israel placed metal detectors at the gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque, an act strongly rejected by the Palestinians who believe it is a step toward Israel’s eventual control over the mosque.
“In the name of the Palestinian leadership, I declare the suspension of all contacts with the occupying country on all levels until Israel revokes all its measures against our Palestinian people and Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserve the historic status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas said at the end of the leadership meeting held in Ramallah.
“We also reject the so-called electronic gates because they are a political move hiding under the cover of an imaginary security pretext that aims to control Al-Aqsa Mosque and evade the peace process as well as turn the conflict from a political one to a religious conflict,” he added.
Abbas said that he has allocated $25 million to help the steadfastness of the Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.
He also announced a meeting for the Palestinian Central Council to discuss steps to protect the Palestinian national project and the Palestinian right to self determination and statehood.
He called on the Palestinian political factions, particularly Hamas, to work toward unifying the Palestinian people and turn the struggle toward Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling on Hamas to dismantle its administrative committee in Gaza and allow the conciliation government to take control of the Gaza Strip that would lead to national elections.
President Abbas said the Palestinian leadership will remain in an open session to follow up on all developments.