Abbas tells Gantz: Temple Mount changes could lead to ‘unstoppable violence’

PA president tells Israeli official that any changes to the status quo could lead to bloodshed.

By World Israel News Staff

During his visit to Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s home on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly issued a stark warning to the Israeli official against Jews ascending to the Temple Mount.

Hebrew-language media reported that Abbas told Gantz that any potential changes to the status quo at the flashpoint compound, which is the holiest site in Judaism and also hosts the Al-Aqsa Mosque, could lead to “unstoppable” violence that he’d be powerless to curb.

While it was unclear as to what specific changes Abbas was referencing, recent reports that Israel was tacitly allowing silent Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount sparked widespread outrage in the Arab world, including from Gaza-based terror group Hamas.

After an Israeli court ruling questioned the banning of a Jewish man from the site for quietly praying, some interpreted the decision as paving the way for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

Hamas called the ruling a “declaration of war” in October 2021, stating that the presence of worshipping Jews at the site was provocative enough to warrant bloodshed.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad called the ruling “invalid and an attack on the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque and the pure right of Muslims to it.”

An appeals court overturned the decision granting permission for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount just a week later. The reversal was met enthusiastically by Hamas, who declared it a “surrender to the threats made by Palestinians.”

As Muslim worshippers filled the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the Eid al-Adha holiday in July 2021, tens of young men affiliated with Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades hoisted flags with messages and imagery associated with Islamic extremism.

“Sword in front of sword, we are the men of Mohammed Deif,” one flag read, in reference to Hamas’ chief military commander.
“The sword of Jerusalem will release the prisoners and dispel the confusion,” read another message on a flag.

Other flags included images of masked men in military uniforms holding M-16s, in front of a map of modern-day Israel, which was depicted as Palestine.

In December 2021, a Waqf-employed guard who works on the Temple Mount was arrested by an Israeli intelligence agency over suspicions he was part of a terror plot.