In an upcoming interview in Arab media, PA President Mahmoud Abbas warns Israel that Palestinians would not accept separate access for Jews and Muslims to the Temple Mount, which Muslims call al-Aqsa.
Israel has not announced such plans, but the PA reportedly believes the Netanyahu government is considering them to prevent recurring violence on the holy site.
“Dividing [access to] al-Aqsa by time or place will not pass,” he says. “Jerusalem is a red line and we will not allow anybody to touch it,” he says in an interview slated to be aired next week on Arab media, according to the London-based pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi.
Abbas also promises to surprise at his upcoming UN speech on September 29: “I will drop a bombshell during the UN speech” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, “and I won’t reveal what that is.”
He also says he gave some friendly advice to Bashar Assad of Syria, delivered through Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem. “I advised him to come out and speak to his people. That would have an effect.”
Al-Quds al-Arabi tells its readers that the octogenarian Abbas is entirely clear-headed, contrary to purported Israeli rumors about him deteriorating.
Abbas also reiterates in the interview his resistance to Israeli demands that he recognize it as a Jewish state. “A Jewish state would give rationale to building the Islamic State in Syria, Gaza, Egypt,” he explains.