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Abbas Said to Warn Gantz Changes on Temple Mount Will Lead To ‘Unstoppable’ Violence

Reports say PA leader repeatedly expressed commitment to stop violence in West Bank, but voiced concern over Jerusalem escalation during meeting with defense minister
Abbas said to warn Gantz changes on Temple Mount will lead to ‘unstoppable’ violence
An Israeli police officer stands guard as a religious Jew in Army uniform visits the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. A ruling by a local Israeli court in favor of a Jewish man who prayed quietly at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site has angered Muslim authorities, who denounced it on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 as a violation of the fragile status quo governing the compound. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, file)

Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly warned Defense Minister Benny Gantz that while he is committed to stopping violence in the West Bank, he was concerned that changes to the religious status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem could lead to an “unstoppable” escalation, Hebrew media reported Wednesday.

Abbas was hosted by Gantz on Tuesday at his home, the first time the Palestinian leader has held talks with a senior Israeli official in Israel since 2010. The meeting was Gantz and Abbas’s second since the new Israeli government was formed in June, with the first taking place in the PA. According to the Defense Ministry, it lasted two and a half hours; part of it was between Abbas and Gantz alone.

Reporting details from the conversation on Wednesday, both Channel 12 and 13 quoted Abbas as telling Gantz that he would not support a return to violence in the West Bank “even if a gun was held to my head.”

However, Abbas told Gantz he was concerned about violence erupting in Jerusalem, particularly surrounding the Temple Mount. Abbas told Gantz that if there was a change to religious elements on the holy site it would lead to an “unstoppable” escalation, Channel 13 reported.

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