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After Palestinians murder 4 Israeli civilians Abbas says “the Palestinian side did not attack… We have to protect our holy sites”

Originally aired on PA TV on Oct. 6, and published in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Oct. 7, 2015.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "In these difficult days, the Israeli government is escalating its strong offensive against the Palestinian people everywhere… Honestly, we do not know what the reason is for this, since the Palestinian side did not attack and did not do anything against the Israelis. If they [Israelis] think that the [Palestinian] people in Jerusalem are protecting themselves, that is our right. We have to protect our holy sites, Islamic and Christian. If they think to divide the Al-Aqsa [Mosque], it is unattainable, and they will not succeed…
We do not want a military and security escalation between us and them. We do not want that. We do not want that. We do not want that. We said it clearly. All our orders to our [security] forces, to our organization, to our young and our public, are that we do not want an escalation. We wish to defend ourselves. How should we react when a group of settlers attack a village? How should we react? Keep away from it! We do not start and we do not initiate. Israel has to cease and accept the hand held out to it."
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Note: Abbas made these statements on Oct. 6, 2015, less than a week after Palestinian terrorists murdered 4 Israeli civilians:

On Oct. 1, Israelis Naama and Eitam Henkin were murdered in a shooting attack on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh in the West Bank. Their four children, aged 9, 7, 4, and 4 months, were also in the car and witnessed the murders, but were not physically injured. Five members of a Hamas terrorist cell were arrested by Israel and confessed to the murders.

On Oct. 3, 2015, Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, 19, attacked Israeli citizen Aharon Bennet, 21, and his family, who were on their way back from prayer at the Western Wall through the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist killed Aharon and Israeli citizen Nehemia Lavi, who came to the family’s aid, and injured Aharon’s wife and 2-year-old son. Following the attack, the terrorist was shot and killed by Israeli security forces.

"To divide the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]" refers to a proposed law (May 2013) in Israeli parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount. The law seeks to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews.
Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount.

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