RAMALLAH, West Bank (TheBlaze/AP) — The Palestinian president on Saturday referred to Jews who visit a holy site also revered by Muslims as a "herd of cattle" and said his people should guard it.
Mahmoud Abbas' fiery rhetoric follows comments he made the previous day that Jews should be banned from visiting the Jerusalem site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary; it's also the location of the Islamic Al Aqsa complex, Arutz Sheva reported.
"It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means," Abbas said Friday, according to Arutz Sheva. "This is our Aqsa...and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it."
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas delivers a statement at a conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah on October 18, 2014. (Image source: AFP/Abbas Momani/Getty Images)
Palestinian demonstrators have recently clashed with Israeli forces over what Palestinians see as Jewish encroachment on the site. The site is the holiest in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Israel maintains that it allows free prayer to all, but Palestinians claim Israel is unilaterally widening access to accommodate larger numbers of Jewish worshippers.