Ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority’s Religious Affairs Ministry threatened a “religious war,” comparing the visit to that of Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount in 2000, according to a Palestinian media report.

Then P.A. leader Yasser Arafat exploited Sharon’s visit to ignite a five-year terror campaign, the Second Intifada. More than 1,100 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks during a period of nearly five years that included suicide-bombings throughout the country.

According to P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Wednesday, “The [P.A.] Ministry of Religious Affairs emphasized in a statement it published yesterday that Netanyahu’s visit constitutes a grave escalation and a blow to the Muslims’ sensibilities, and that it will drag the region into a religious war whose consequences will be grave. It reminds us of [Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon’s visit in Jerusalem [i.e., to the Temple Mount] in 2000, which ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada.”

The P.A. ministry also “called on our people to defend the Ibrahim Mosque and prevent all of the plans to take it over and remove the Muslims from it,” and for the “international community to help and stop the Israeli actions, out of fear that the entire area will go up in flames,” according to the report.

Netanyahu visited Hebron on Wednesday as part of an official Israeli ceremony to commemorate the murder of as many as 67 Jews by Arabs in 1929.

Recently, as part of the P.A.’s annual glorification of three of the murderers from 1929, it justified the massacres as follows: “They [the Jews] held an additional demonstration through the streets of Jerusalem until they reached the Al-Buraq Wall [the Western Wall] and there they read their hymns in a highly provocative manner to which the proud souls are not accustomed.” (Official P.A. TV News, June 17, 2019).

The full article is available at the Palestinian Media Watch website.

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