WASHINGTON (JTA) — A substantial bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to end incitement.
“There have been some efforts to curb the violence and protect the peace,” said the letter sent Thursday, alluding to Abbas’ cooperation with Israel in containing the recent spate of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
“But statements made by you, other political figures, clerics and official P.A. media have undoubtedly served to inflame the current situation,” said the letter, signed by 369 House members out of 435.
The letter noted claims by Abbas and others that Israel plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, the Jerusalem site also known as Haram al-Sharif and holy to Muslims and Jews, as well as Abbas’ false allegation that Israeli forces had executed a teenager who stabbed Israelis.
“The stakes are high,” said the letter, initiated by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y, respectively the chairman and top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Now is the time for responsible and sustained leadership on these critical issues.”
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee backed the letter.