This is a harshly inflammatory speech from someone who claims that he is bent on peace. The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to stop denying the past and distorting reality.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

In response to Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen’s speech on Sunday, 26 February 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Bureau has released the following statement:

"This is a harshly inflammatory speech from someone who claims that he is bent on peace. The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to stop denying the past and distorting reality.

For thousands of years Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Jerusalem, under Israeli sovereignty, will continue to be open to believers of all faiths. There is freedom of worship for all and Israel will continue to carefully maintain the holy places of all religions.

Abu Mazen knows full well that there is no foundation to his contemptible remarks, including his baseless and irresponsible claims regarding the Al Aqsa Mosque. The State of Israel expects that one who supposedly champions peace would prepare his people for peace and coexistence and not disseminate lies and incitement. This is not how one makes peace."