Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has suddenly begun to dial back his anti-Israel inflammatory attitude and remarks.
Abbas was quoted on Tuesday as saying he did not want the current violence in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to escalate into a military confrontation with Israel. “We tell them (the Israelis) that we do not want either military or security escalation,” Abbas said in a statement issued at a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“All our instructions to our (security) agencies, our factions and our youth have been that we do not want escalation.”
Abbas also allegedly said, “We’re committed to the agreements,” adding that he has told Israel that Palestinian Arab leaders “want to reach a diplomatic solution through peaceful means and not another solution. We want to mitigate the chances of destruction and loss which will afflict both sides from this situation… [but] at the same time, we will protect ourselves.”
He also urged Israel to return to negotiations, carry out a previously negotiated prisoner release and end any building within Jewish cities, towns and villages in Judea, Samaria and post-1967 Jerusalem neighborhoods.
The remarks are a 180-degree turnabout from his position at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly barely a week ago, when Abbas informed world leaders the Palestinian Authority no longer feels itself bound by the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords which it signed with Israel in 1993.
However, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have both allegedly pressured Abbas to act to prevent further deterioration in the security situation in the Palestinian Authority, according to a tweet by Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.
If the report is accurate, such a move would signal an intent by Jordan and Egypt to end what appears to be a deliberate, calculated attempt by Abbas to attempt to ignite a third intifada.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meanwhile announced tightened security measures that were approved late Monday night by the security cabinet to counter to escalation in violence.
Among the counter-terror strategies were the installation of new security cameras at every intersection in Judea and Samaria, expedited legal decision on demolition of homes of convicted terrorist murderers and assassins, and beefed-up security and military units in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Within the past week two Palestinian Arabs have been killed while engaging in attacks against Israelis.
The first was a terrorist who stabbed a 15-year-old Israeli teen in the chest late Saturday night while he was walking near the Old City of Jerusalem.
The second was a 13-year-old Palestinian Arab teen who was shot — and killed accidentally — by an IDF soldier while particpating in a violent Arab riot near the Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel.
In addition, at least 170 more Palestinian Arabs have been injured in clashes with Israeli security personnel since Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Na’ama were murdered in a Samaria drive-by terror attack in front of their four children last Thursday night.
Just two nights later, two rabbis were murdered and a mother and her baby were stabbed and shot in the same Arab terror attack at the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.
The young mother pleaded for help from nearby vendors in the Old City market – to no avail — with blood dripping from a knife wound in her shoulder as her husband and baby, and a fellow rabbi were being shot and stabbed. Instead she was mocked and laughed at, and finally in one instance actually pushed away, according to a relative’s account.