RAMALLAH Feb 24 (JMCC) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas warned that Israel's recent move to rehabilitate two West Bank shrines could spark a religious war.
“This is a dangerous provocation. Israel took this step precisely after US President Barack Obama urged it to take confidence-building measures vis-à-vis the Palestinians,” Abbas told the European parliament in Brussels Tuesday.
“We have reached a very critical stage which necessitates an intensive, coordinated international effort. Settlement construction, which kills the peace process and contradicts Israel’s obligations under the road map, must be stopped,” he said.
Israel on Sunday announced that two shared religious shrines in Bethlehem and Hebron would be included in a list of national heritage sites slated for rehabilitation. Palestinians called general strikes in both towns to protest the move, and clashes have broken out between protesters and Israeli soldiers.