Herzog speaks to PA’s Abbas for the 1st time since outbreak of Temple Mount clashes

President also calls leaders of UAE and Bahrain to wish them a happy Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, meets with then-Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog in Ramallah on August 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser/File)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, meets with then-Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog in Ramallah on August 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser/File)

President Isaac Herzog called the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Sunday to wish them a happy Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, his office said in a statement.

Herzog spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, de facto ruler of the UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

In their conversations, Herzog expressed his hopes for peace and stability in the region, the statement said. The president will speak with additional leaders in the coming days.

The phone calls marked the first time Herzog has spoken with those leaders since the recent violence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that drew condemnation of Israel from, among others, the UAE, Bahrain and the Palestinian leadership.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, typically a period of friction, saw regular clashes at the flashpoint Temple Mount.

The Old City compound is the holiest site to Jews, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the Temple Mount, is the third-holiest shrine for Muslims.

This year, Ramadan coincided with the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, which brought thousands of Jews to the Old City, including to the Western Wall, which is located beneath the Temple Mount.

Hundreds of Palestinians were injured and arrested in skirmishes with police.

Tensions over the violence reportedly prompted the UAE to withdraw its participation in the upcoming Independence Day flyover later this week.

The United States expressed its “deep concern” over the violence in Jerusalem, and Israel’s Mideast neighbors, including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all issued statements of fierce condemnation.

Tensions are still high between Israel and the Palestinians. On Friday, Palestinian terrorists killed an Israeli security guard in the West Bank. The IDF arrested suspects and mapped their homes for destruction in response.

The Hamas terror group, a rival to the PA, issued threats against Israel and synagogues worldwide on Saturday.

Friday saw some fighting between Israeli police and Palestinians at Al-Aqsa, who were there for the last Friday of the Ramadan month. Police said they entered the Temple Mount after rioters threw stones, including onto the Western Wall complex, and shot fireworks.

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