The fire was condemned harshly by Israeli politicians, with Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign minister under Benjamin Netanyahu, proclaiming “This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority’s occupation is no different than that of [ISIS]”. He added that the rioters had been incited by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, first to kill Israelis with machetes and knives, “and now burning holy and historical sites, just like [ISIS] is doing in Iraq and Syria.”
The U.N. Security Council meeting will be held at the request of Jordan, the only council member from the Arab Group, which includes the Palestinian Authority. Arab ambassadors held a strategy session at the U.N. Wednesday. The talks included a possible draft resolution demanding that Israeli security forces withdraw and the consideration of deploying a U.N. protection force.
“The situation warrants providing protection for our people in the occupied territory starting in the Old City of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque.” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the U.N., told Fox News.
Tensions are high in the region after a series of recent attacks, most of them stabbings, that killed eight Israelis. In that time, 31 Palestinians have been reported killed by Israeli fire, including 14 labeled by Israel as attackers, and the rest in clashes with Israeli troops.
On Thursday, Abbas ignited an uproar in Israel after falsely claiming in a televised speech that Israelis had “summarily executed” Ahmed Manasra, when the 13-year-old actually was recovering at an Israeli hospital after he stabbed two Israelis, including a boy his own age.
Palestinians, in turn, were enraged by video appearing to show Ahmed lying in the street, his head bloodied and his legs splayed, as bystanders curse him and shout “Die!” in Hebrew. The images, widely circulated on social media, made no mention of the preceding attack by Ahmed and his cousin Hassan, 15, who was then shot and killed by police Monday.
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