A Palestinian speaker on Friday delivered an impromptu sermon inside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque calling for the elimination of America and Israel and hailing the Islamic State terror group.
In his address, translated and posted Tuesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the man identified as Ali Abu Ahmad calls for Jerusalem’s liberation from “the Jews, the most vile of creatures” and for the annihilation of America and the international coalition against Islamic State.
“Oh Allah, annihilate America and its coalition. Oh Allah, enable us to cut off their heads. Oh Allah, help our brothers, the mujahideen in the land of Iraq and Syria,” Abu Ahmad calls out in the main hall of the mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
“Who will come to the aid of Islam, if not us? Who will come to the aid of Jerusalem, if not us? Who will come to the aid of the Caliphate, if not us, oh servants of Allah?” he cries as many people mill around, while several sit and listen.
“Do not be deluded by the arrogance of the Jews, or by their crimes against the Muslims of Palestine. This is merely a prelude to their elimination, Allah willing, at the hands of the loyal mujahideen within Palestine and abroad.”
Abu Ahmad warns Palestinians against appeals and overtures to the international community which he blames for bringing the Jews to Palestine in the first place.
“They share the blame for their barbaric crimes against the Muslims in Palestine. Seek refuge in Allah the Almighty, the Avenger. Only Allah can break the backs of America and the Jews, as he did to Pharaoh and Nimrod,” he says.
Several people sit and listen to Abu Ahmad quietly throughout his speech, but do not respond much, and only a few are visible in the frame. It is thus not clear whether many people are listening. Most of the crowd in the mosque does not appear to be paying attention.
For the past two weeks Israel has removed all limitations from Muslim worshipers wishing to attend sermons in the mosque, reversing a policy to ban young people from attending due to fears of rioting. This practice, which had been in place for several months, was changed at the behest of American and Jordanian officials as part of confidence-building measures agreed to by Israel in an effort to stem the anger and violence in the capital.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel Friday not to allow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to turn into a religious war.
In an address in Ramallah, three days after two Palestinian terrorists killed five Israelis in an attack on a synagogue, Abbas said, “There is a political struggle between us, so let’s talk politics. Don’t turn it into a religious struggle, because once struggles like that start, they don’t end.”
The PA chief, blamed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for inciting recent acts of terror with anti-Israel speeches and propaganda, went on to urge: “You mustn’t come close to our mosques, to our churches. And we mustn’t come close to your synagogues.”
Israel’s Shin Bet security chief Yoram Cohen last week told legislators that Abbas was not directly or indirectly encouraging terrorism, but said some of his comments may be interpreted in some quarters as a call to arms. Some PA officials and members of Abbas’s Fatah faction have charged that Israel is threatening the safety of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, encouraged “days of rage” to “protect” al-Aqsa, posted anti-Israel cartoons, and broadcast anti-Israel messages, including endorsements for several recent terror attacks.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Friday that the PA’s own official website carried incitement to terrorism and that Abbas has spoken recently of the imperative to prevent hordes of settlers descending on Al-Aqsa.
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