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Ahmed Halabiyeh, director of the Jerusalem Department in Hamas, said that armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, should initiate a confrontation with Israel over its plans to build new apartments in Jerusalem and its suburbs.
The Palestinians, he added, should resort to various methods of resistance, first and foremost "martyrdom operations in the heart of Israel."
He urged Palestinians to "ignite a third intifada to save the Aksa Mosque and Jerusalem."
The "enemy is waging a fierce onslaught on Jerusalem and accelerating plans to Judaize the city geographically and demographically," he told reporters in Gaza City.
Israel, he charged, was spreading the "cancer of settlements to all parts of Jerusalem."
The Hamas official also accused Israel of working to undermine the foundations of the Aksa Mosque to bring about its collapse so it could replace the structure with the Third Temple.
Halabiyeh urged Arabs and Muslims to declare a state of full mobilization to "liberate Jerusalem, the Aksa Mosque and Palestine."
Also on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority warned that the recent Israeli plans to build new housing projects in Jerusalem would undermine the two-state solution and foil international efforts to reach a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said that the government's plans would eventually lead to a one-state solution.
The "State of Palestine would take all available measures to respond to the Israeli plans, which are a red line that the Palestinians won't allow to be implemented," he said.
Abu Rudaineh also condemned Israel's decision to withhold tax and customs revenues belonging to the PA as a "criminal and aggressive act."
Israel would have to bear the consequences of its actions, he declared.
SOURCE: KHALED ABU TOAMEH
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post