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Temple Mount riot shows tough balancing act for Mahmoud Abbas

The Temple Mount riot in Jerusalem erupted after a Palestinian was killed by an Israeli security guard. Rising tensions are a challenge for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Dome of the Rock is seen on the compound known to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City September 14.

Darren Whiteside/Reuters

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hinted Tuesday night that he may stick with peace talks even if Israel doesn’t extend a settlement freeze, softening a precondition he had insisted on until then.

But an outbreak of violence around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount today suggests that Palestinian anger over an expanding Jewish presence may be reaching a boiling point. Such a disconnect between Mr. Abbas and average Palestinians could threaten or even end the talks – as well as Abbas’s political career.

“I cannot say I will leave the negotiations, but it’s very difficult for me to resume talks if [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu declares that he will continue his activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” he was quoted as saying at a dinner for American Jewish leaders in New York.

Violence in Silwan spreads to Old City

The violence began in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a predominately Palestinian area in the shadow of the Old City’s southern walls that has become a flashpoint in broader Israeli-Palestinian tensions.


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