Palestinian President Abbas asks Kushner to intervene in Temple Mount crisis

Returning in the middle of trips abroad due to violence on Temple Mount, Abbas asking the U.S administration to order Israel to remove metal detectors.

At noon, the Friday prayers will begin, and in the background, there will be a great fear of violence after they end. The heads of the Waqf and senior Muslim clerics gathered before prayers. “We will not enter the Temple Mount because of the magnetometers,” said the Mufti of Jerusalem. Four military forces were sent to the Judea and Samaria Division to reinforce their fear of riots in the territories.

Before the prayers, heads of the Waqf and Muslim clerics gathered in East Jerusalem to discuss what was going on. “We will continue to pray outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque as long as the magnumets are stationed at its gates,” said the Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein. In the afternoon, a trickle of worshipers over the age of 50 began to limit the restrictions on men under this age from entering the Temple Mount, entering the gates of the compound.

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reached out to US President Donald Trump’s top Middle East advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, asking him to exert pressure on Israel to remove metal detectors installed at the entrance of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in response to a deadly terror attack the area last Friday.

During their conversation, Abbas attempted to solicit a US commitment to ordering Israel to back away from the area by explaining to Kushner the severity of the crisis, warning that it could spiral out of control if Israel doesn’t withdraw its beefed-up presence and immediately take the detectors down.

Abbas returned to Ramallah in the middle of visits abroad in order to tend to the precarious developments in the Israeli capital. To that end, the Executive Committee of the PLO and the Central Committee of Fatah is preparing to hold an emergency meeting Friday to formulate an official position on how to handle the matter.

 

After discussions were held in the Security Cabinet overnight Thursday, police were said to have been given a free hand on deciding whether the metal detectors remain in place or are taken down.

However, it was not immediately clear who was ultimately responsible for the final decision, with the police insisting that the outcome of the talks was the result of choices by the political echelons.

Either way, thousands of police officers have been sent to deal with violent eruptions ahead of Friday’s mass prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque on what has become over the last few days an extremely volatile and volcanic Temple Mount.

Additionally, in a bid to minimize levels of violence, Israeli security forces will be restricting entry into the Old City to men aged 50 and above. Women of all ages will be permitted to enter as usual.

Palestinian security officials have already informed their leaders of the immense pressure they are facing in east Jerusalem and in the West Bank since the inception of the crisis in areas which fall under their security jurisdiction.

Matters are only likely to be exacerbated by the calls from Gaza by the Hamas terror group to stage a ‘day of rage’, placing a further burden on Israeli forces which have been deployed to the southern border to repel any possible attacks launched from the strip.

By Elior Levy and Hassan Shaalan, Ynet News

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