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|Monday, July 30, 2001, updated at 08:16(GMT+8)|
Palestinians Slam Israel for Laying Temple CornerstoneA senior Palestinian official on Sunday slammed as "a dangerous intention" Israel's move to lay the cornerstone for a new Israeli temple in East Jerusalem.
"This step is aimed at angering the Palestinian people through provocative measures and is tantamount to adding fuel to fire," Saeb Erekat, Palestinian chief negotiator, told Radio Cairo over phone from the Palestinian city of Gaza.
Earlier in the day, 21 Palestinians were wounded when they clashed with Israeli policemen in protest of the symbolic cornerstone-laying ceremony, planned by a right-wing Israeli religious group in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest shrine.
Erekat, also Palestinian minister of local government, blamed the Israeli government for the worsening situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
"The Palestinian National Authority has asked the world community, in particular the United States and the European Union, to help block such an Israeli provocative action," he added.
Erekat expressed hope that the U.S., together with Egypt, will do its utmost to help implement the Mitchell report recommendations and make Israel give up its aggressive policy against the Palestinians.
The Mitchell report, released by an international panel led by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell in May, calls on Israel and the Palestinians to end violence, take confidence-building measures and finally resume their peace talks.
More than 650 people, most of them Palestinians, have been killed since the eruption of the bloodshed between the Palestinians and Israelis last September, triggered by Israeli violation of Al- Aqsa Mosque.
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