Warning Over Risk of New Intifada

Warning Over Risk of New IntifadaWarning Over Risk of New Intifada

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas warned Tuesday of the “risk of an intifada” if clashes over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound continue, after a meeting with French Leader Francois Hollande in Paris.

“What is happening is very dangerous,” Abbas said, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “stop” the chaos at the flashpoint holy site, AFP reported.

Abbas warned against “an intifada (uprising) which we don’t want”.

Tensions are high after days of clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque site during the Jewish New Year last week.

The mosque, located at the site of what Jews venerate as the sacred Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, is in east Beit-ul-Moqaddas, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Al-Aqsa is also the third holiest site in Islam and is believed to be where Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) made his night journey to heaven.

Muslims have been alarmed by an increase in visits by Jews to the site and fear rules governing the compound will be changed. Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray, to avoid provoking tensions.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly he is committed to the status quo at the site.

Israeli authorities fear further trouble ahead when the Muslim feast of Eid Al-Adha coincides on Wednesday with the solemn Jewish fast of Yom Kippur.

Hollande called for “peace, calm and the respect of principles”.

“I expressed our attachment to the status quo over the mosque compound,” he said after the talks with Abbas.

The visit of Abbas to France comes shortly before the United Nations General Assembly in New York where he will oversee the raising of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations.