Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has released a statement to members of the Fatah Party announcing that the “campaign for Jerusalem” has effectively begun after Friday’s major protests and violent crackdown over the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israel set up metal detectors around the mosque’s site, a move which has fueled anger across the Muslim world, as the mosque is among the holiest places in Islam. The massive protests on Friday ended with six dead and several hundred wounded.
Abbas, who has already cut contact with Israel over the matter, claimed the situation is a “racist plot” to “Jewify and take over al-Aqsa,” saying that Palestinians will see the holy sites released from the occupation.
In a separate interview, Abbas said he believes the metal detectors are simply an effort by the Israeli government to fuel a religious confrontation, and that this would be the means by which they’d avoid any diplomatic process.