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Abbas salutes rioting Palestinians “carrying out Ribat” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque “in light of the constant Israeli violations against Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites”

Headline: “The [PA] president spoke by telephone with the mufti of Jerusalem and salutes the resolve of the Murabitin at the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the president condemns the Israeli raids and attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and warns against their dangerous consequences”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by telephone yesterday evening [Feb. 19, 2019] with [PA] Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein.

The mufti briefed President Abbas on the difficult situation at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque as a result of the occupation forces breaking into its plazas and the attacks on the worshippers and Murabitin (i.e., those carrying out Ribat, religious conflict/war to protect land claimed to be Islamic), which caused the wounding and arrest of dozens of members of our people carrying out Ribat (refers to arrest of Muslim rioters at the Temple Mount; see note below –Ed.).

The president saluted the resolve of the members of our people carrying out Ribat at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas in light of the constant Israeli violations against Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites…

The [PA] Presidential Office said that these actions are part of a systematic Israeli policy to exert pressure on our people and its leadership, in a failed attempt to prevent it from adhering to the national principles, and due to its opposition to the deal of the century (refers to US President Donald Trump’s as yet unpublished Middle East peace deal –Ed.). It added that the attacks on our people and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, in addition to the latest racist decision to steal the allowances of the Martyrs and prisoners from the Palestinian tax revenues (refers to implementation of Israeli law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.), blow up all of the signed agreements between the two sides…

The Presidential Office warned against the dangerous consequences of these actions and attacks continuing, which heralds a deterioration of the situation and the region being sent into a religious conflict with a bad and bitter end.”

Break-in/Invasion/attack of Al-Aqsa Mosque - The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

February 2019 Temple Mount clashes – Muslim riots broke out on the Temple Mount starting Feb. 18, 2019, after the Israeli police closed a compound near the Gate of Mercy after the Jordanian Waqf had violated an Israeli court order by reopening the compound the previous week. The compound was ordered sealed in 2017 given that it was managed by the banned Islamic Movement in Israel and used for illegal construction and antiquities destruction.

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA. The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018. During the parliamentary vote, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.