Israel's top security chief has said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not incite terror in Jerusalem and the West Bank, on the day that two Palestinian men murdered four Jewish worshippers in a deadly attack on a synagogue in the holy city.
"Abbas is not interested in terror. Not even under the table, even though some of the public interprets his statements that way," Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen told a meeting of Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.
Cohen's comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a recent wave of Palestinian attacks have been caused by incitement from Abbas and the Islamist militant faction Hamas.
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze'ev Elkin said that incitement was coming from the seat of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
"There is no doubt that we have to think of the correct response to this massacre from a security standpoint and in general, in dealing with the waves of incitement from Ramallah that influence Jerusalem," Elkin stated.
"Until east Jerusalem is treated like any other place in sovereign Israel, when it has law and order like any other place, and as long as students in east Jerusalem study a PA curriculum including incitement in textbooks funded by Israel, there won't be a solution.
"The policy of containment and restraint only fed the flames; it never brings improvements...and whoever thinks that concessions and negotiations bring more quiet is denying the simple facts."
Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government would "respond with a strong hand" to a series of Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
"This is the direct result of the incitement led by Hamas and Abu Mazen [Abbas], incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores." Netanyahu said in a statement.
"We will respond with a strong hand to the cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were caught by dark murderous hands."