Abbas Threatens Legal Action to 'Stop Settlers From Attacking Al-Aqsa'

Earlier, Palestinian president called on Palestinians to defend mosque area using `any means.'

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a press conference on October 8, 2014 in the West Bank City of Ramallah.Credit: AFP

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said his administration would take legal action "at the international level" to stop what he called attacks by Jewish settlers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.

Abbas on Saturday accused the Jews of aggression against the mosque and said their presence desecrates the site, AFP reported.

The area -- the third-holiest site to Muslims and the holiest site in Judaism – routinely sees fighting between the two sides, with the Israel Police in the middle. 

Muslims are concerned that the religious Jews who go up to the Temple Mount are trying to usurp it, AFP reported.

Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the Temple Mount, but Jews may neither pray there nor enter the mosques. The Israel Police are concerned that Jews praying on the site could prompt disturbances between the two sides. Jews pray at the Western Wall, below the Mount.

The police periodically restrict access to the Temple Mount, allowing older adult Muslims to enter for prayer.

On Friday Abbas told Palestinians to use "any means" to bar the settlers from the Temple Mount.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the PA chief of incitement and compared him to Islamic State and other extremist Islamic organizations.