TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Mahmoud Abbas made the remarks on Saturday, addressing hundreds of the city’s Palestinians, the authority’s official Wafa news agency reported.
Israel likewise lays claims to the entire city as its so-called capital. Palestinians usually assert such right to its eastern part, which the regime occupied in 1967 and later annexed. The international community has never recognized either the occupation or the annexation.
Abbas also hailed Palestinians for the “courage and strength,” which they displayed in the form of nearly two straight weeks of protests after Israel fully closed the compound of al-Aqsa Mosque -- Islam's third holiest site -- last month.
Tel Aviv ordered the move following a shootout on July 14 near the site, which left two Israeli soldiers and three Palestinians dead.
The move drew sweeping international condemnation besides sparking massive demonstrations by Palestinians, during which more than a dozen of them died, forcing Tel Aviv to reopen the site.
Afterwards, however, the regime first barred Palestinians less than 50 years of age and then set up metal detectors at the entrances to the site, prompting worshipers to pray outside the gates and keep up their rallies. Israel finally lifted the detectors, but has installed more cameras in the place.
Palestinian leaders have considered the regime’s backing down from its initial draconian restrictions at the site a victory for the protesters.
Abbas said, "We should preserve the victory achieved in al-Quds to achieve another victory or to take another step forward."
Abbas added that Tel Aviv would not be allowed to repeat “the mistakes of 1948.” The year saw the regime seizing vast expanses of Palestinian and other Arab territories in Western-backed military operations and forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland.
Pressure on Hamas
On a different note, Abbas confirmed that the Palestinian Authority, which is being led by the Fatah party, would continue to reduce financial support to the Gaza Strip, which is administered by Hamas.
He said the authority would keep doing so as long as Hamas did not comply with Palestinian Authority-mandated terms of reconciliation.
Fatah and Hamas have been at odds ever since the latter scored a landslide victory in elections in 2006.
Over the past months, the authority has been refusing to foot Gaza’s electricity bill, afflicting the coastal enclave with recurrent power cuts. Some analysts say the pressure is aimed at forcing Hamas to relinquish its rule over the territory.