Bibi ignited al-Aqsa tensions to divert attention from probes: Ex-Israeli PM

Press TV- Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak says the current premier Benjamin Netanyahu sparked recent tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a bid to distract public attention from the investigations into the corruption allegations against him.

In a video he posted on his Facebook page on Saturday, Barak blasted Netanyahu for his handling of the situation at the highly-sensitive site and the West Bank.

Netanyahu “is ready to set … the region on fire in order to save himself from his fear of criminal investigations,” Barak said.

“Over the last two weeks, we received a glimpse of the depths to which Netanyahu’s behavior can fall. He is a man who panics, acts weak and gets dragged down due to his poor judgment; easily loses his cool-headedness; and surrenders time and time again,” he added.

The former Israeli prime minister further reminded that the former Supreme Court president had asked Netanyahu to quit because of the “expensive gifts scandal.”

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas.

He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for an alleged media bribery scheme to help Yediot Aharonot newspaper against its competitor Yisrael Hayom in return for favorable coverage of the prime minister.

Tensions erupted in East Jerusalem al-Quds after a deadly shootout on July 14 outside the Haram al-Sharif, which Jews call Temple Mount.

Israeli police officers clash with Palestinians inside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds on July 27, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Using the gunfight as a pretext, Israel set up metal detectors and surveillance cameras at entrances to the al-Aqsa compound.

The restrictive measures sparked criticism worldwide, with Palestinians saying that the bans were meant to expand the regime’s control over the holy site and change its status quo.

On July 24, Tel Aviv backed down in the face of protests as well as violent clashes and removed all the restrictions at the al-Aqsa compound.

According to latest figures,15 Palestinians were killed and about 1,400 others were injured in the al-Aqsa clashes over the past few days.