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Palestinian Israeli conflict

Gulf countries condemn Israel’s storming of al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan prayers

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The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt have condemned Israel’s storming of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque which left at least 152 Palestinians injured, state news agencies reported on Saturday.

The UAE’s foreign ministry “underscored the need for self-restraint” and called for protection of the worshippers, in a statement run by the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

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The ministry also stressed that the Israeli authorities should “respect the right of Palestinians to practice their religious rites and halt any practices that violate the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The statement reported by WAM also said that the UAE emphasized the need to end “illegal Israeli practices that threaten the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Israeli police stormed the mosque’s compound in Jerusalem before dawn on Friday as thousands gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

Medics told the Associated Press that at least 152 Palestinians were wounded.

Palestinians shout slogans at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, following clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City April 15, 2022. (Reuters)
Palestinians shout slogans at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, following clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City April 15, 2022. (Reuters)

Bahrain’s foreign ministry, in a statement shared on the official Bahrain News Agency, said that Israel’s forces are a “provocation to the feelings of Muslims.”

The Bahraini ministry called on Israel to “respect the role of the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in caring for sanctities and endowments in accordance with international law…,” in addition to condemning the situation and calling for an end to the violence.

Egypt’s foreign ministry also echoed the other Gulf countries and rejected the violence, warning of the consequences of stability and security in Palestine and the wider region.

A similar statement was shared by Saudi Arabia earlier, standing in solidarity with Palestine on Friday.

Most of the Palestinian injuries incurred from rubber bullets, stun grenades and beatings with police batons, the Palestine Red Crescent said in a report carried by Reuters.

Israeli security forces have been on high alert after a series of deadly street attacks throughout the country over the past two weeks.

Confrontations at the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem’s walled Old City pose the risk of a relapse into a broader conflagration like last year’s Gaza war.

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