Israel

UN Chief Criticizes Abbas’ Anti-Jewish Incitement, Fears It Will Stoke Tensions in Jerusalem

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop using “inflammatory” rhetoric regarding the Temple Mount, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday, citing Israel Radio.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he fears recent inflammatory statements will increase tensions in Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Ban’s rebuke came after complaints from Israeli officials over his silence in response to Abbas’ incitement in a speech last week, during which the Palestinian president proclaimed that Jews would not be allowed to defile holy sites in Jerusalem with their “filthy feet,” and blessed “every drop of blood … spilled for Jerusalem.”

The Times quoted the responses of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold to Abbas’ speech:

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the recent surge in Palestinian violence in Jerusalem was “of course joined by the choir, by the Palestinian Authority, with incitement and even anti-Semitic expressions regarding the prohibition for Jews with their ‘filthy feet’ to visit the Temple Mount and other over-the-top expressions.”

On Thursday last week, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold also slammed Abbas’s comments.

“Today the world is divided between those trying to undermine religious coexistence and those trying to protect it,” Gold said in a statement. “By saying that the ‘filthy feet’ of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount desecrate it, Mahmoud Abbas has now clarified on which side he stands.”

Also on Tuesday, The Times reported that Abbas warned of a “risk of an intifada” over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. While non-Muslims continue to be banned from praying on the complex, The Times notes that “Muslims have been alarmed by an increase in visits by Jews to the site and fear rules governing the compound will be changed,” despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s affirmations that the status quo on the site will be upheld. Yesterday, the Times reported that a poll of Palestinians in the West Bank Gaza revealed increasing support for terror and declining support for a two-state solution.

Last year, Palestinian affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh wrote that Abbas had “radicalized Palestinians to a point where it has become laughable even to talk about any peace process with Israel.”

Following the murder of four rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue last November, Secretary of State John Kerry called the terror attack “a pure result of incitement.”

[Photo: Helmut Zermin / YouTube ]