Abbas says ceasefire must include ban on Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa
Israel and Hamas' recent ceasefire must include a ban on provocative Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian and Jordanian officials on Tuesday.
Abbas made the demands during meetings with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Ramallah.
"The ceasefire must include an end to [Israeli] attacks and invasions," Abbas' office told The Times of Israel.
The statement echoed the PA president's comments to Safadi on Tuesday, in which he said that the truce must include "stopping attacks and incursions by extremist settlers, backed by the Israeli occupation forces, on Al-Aqsa Mosque and on our people in the West Bank".
Abbas' remarks came amid continued raids on the Al-Aqsa compound by extremist Jewish and far-right groups under the protection of Israeli police. On Tuesday, Israelis stormed the area for a third day in a row.
Extremist groups claim a "right" to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which they refer to as the Temple Mount. Some extremists wish to demolish the mosque and build a Jewish temple on its site.
These incursions into Al-Aqsa, which is considered Islam's third holiest site, were seen as the trigger for the recent escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas.
Last month, as tens of thousands of Muslims converged on the mosque compound during the last days of Ramadan, Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets at worshippers and launched stun grenades into the mosque.
An end to the raids by police and far-right Israeli groups were one of Hamas' key demands in Egyptian-mediated talks with Israel, sources close to the ceasefire talks told The New Arab's Arabic-language service earlier this month.
On Tuesday, President Abbas also stressed in meetings that efforts to rebuild Gaza after Israel's 11-day bombardment must include the PA.
Abbas, whose Fatah faction has long been at loggerheads with Hamas, is seen as keen to assert his authority as the Gaza-based Islamist group enjoys a bounce in popularity after its recent confrontation with Israel.