President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday instructed Palestinian Authority forces to take measures to prevent a further security deterioration in the West Bank.
Abbas issued the instructions during a meeting in Ramallah with commanders of the PA security forces and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
He told the commanders to be on alert “so as not to give a chance to Israeli schemes aimed at escalating the situation and instigating violence,” his office said.
Abbas instructed the security forces to take a number of measures to “ensure security for the homeland and the people,” the office said.
The statement did not refer to the Shin Bet’s arrest of the Hamas cell that murdered the Henkin couple near Itamar last week. Nor did it mention the recent stabbing attacks in Jerusalem.
Following the upsurge in violence in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that it is not seeking to ignite a third intifada against Israel. It also said that Hamas was behind the latest escalation.
The announcement came as Abbas called for international protection for the Palestinians “before matters get out of control.” Abbas’s appeal came during a phone conversation with United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.
A statement released by Abbas’s office late Sunday stopped short of condemning or making any reference to the recent terrorist attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Instead, it accused Israel of seeking to drag the region toward violence “to rid itself of its political crisis and international isolation.” The statement also accused Israel and settlers of perpetrating “crimes” against Palestinians and the Aksa Mosque.
The PA government in Ramallah issued a statement condemning Israel for the killing of the two Palestinians who carried out the stabbing attacks in Jerusalem, but ignored the fact that Israelis had been killed in the attacks.
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