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Abbas Counters Netanyahu, Accuses Israel of 'Ethnic Cleansing'

Palestinian president has made the accusation in the past, but is now responding to Netanyahu's claim that the removal of Israelis from West Bank is type of 'ethnic cleansing.'

The Palestinian president is accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing," days after Israel's leader lobbed that same allegation at the Palestinians.
President Mahmoud Abbas has made the claim against Israel in the past. But his remarks late Sunday came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted West Bank settlements were not an obstacle to peace and that Palestinians wanted the "ethnic cleansing" of Jews in the West Bank.
skip - Netanyahu says Palestinian leaders want future state to be ethnically cleansed of Jews.

Netanyahu's comments drew a harsh rebuke from the U.S., which said such terminology was "inappropriate and unhelpful."
In his remarks for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, Abbas said he was prepared to continue with the "diplomatic process" and was ready to meet Netanyahu to discuss peace following an invitation to both leaders to meet in Moscow.
Abbas said Israel was isolated diplomatically for "refusing to advance a single step toward peace," and continuing to build settlements.
"The Palestinians don't merely follow a policy of launching test balloons about peace, but take real steps to carry it out," Abbas said.
"Before these holy days, poisonous winds are coming from Israel's directions in an attempt to break us, but actually turned us stronger and more fateful to ourselves and more resolved, our internal unity remains strong and will not fall because of a campaign," he said.
U.S.-brokered peace negotiations collapsed in 2014.

Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.741581
Schermata 2016 09 12 alle 09.50.47

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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