Arab-Israeli lawmakers - Reuters
GAZA CITY - 16 July 2017: Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, following Friday’s attack at the complex by three Israeli-Arab gunmen that left two policemen dead, could lead to a third Intifada, Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh said on Saturday night.
The leader of the Arab bloc in the Knesset told Channel 2’s Meet the Press: “Closing the Al Aqsa Mosque is explosive. The Second Intifada broke out on al Aqsa. I warn against the third.” according to the Jerusalem Post.
He criticized the attack on Friday, saying that Israeli Arabs should wage a “political struggle, and not in any way an armed struggle.” MKs from the Islamic Movement-affiliated United Arab List party and the Ta’al party, both part of the Joint List, also released statements condemning violence.
Odeh added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “wants to turn the conflict from a political to a religious one, which is why he backs provocative entry by settlers into the area of the mosque.”
Jews are not allowed in the close vicinity of the mosque, but they are allowed in the Temple Mount Plaza, where they are prohibited from praying.
In a statement released late on Friday after an emergency meeting, the High Follow-Up Committee termed the attack a “rejected individual act that doesn’t serve the struggle of the Arab masses to defend their presence, rights and holy sites.
“Our masses have struggled for 69 years through a track of popular struggle that has proven its credibility over years,” the statement continued. “Any deviation from this doesn’t serve the future of the struggle.”
The three gunmen, who were shot dead by security personnel, came from the northern city of Umm el Fahm.