The European Union on Saturday condemned the ongoing situation between Israeli police and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound and urged authorities to quickly calm tensions.
“Violence and incitement are unacceptable and the perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable. The European Union calls on the authorities to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions in Jerusalem,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“The European Union calls on the authorities to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions in Jerusalem.”
The statement added that “acts of incitement around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif must be avoided and the status quo has to be respected,” using another term for the key religious site.
It said “political, religious and community leaders on all sides should show restraint and responsibility and make every effort to calm down this volatile situation.”
More than 160 people were wounded when Israeli riot police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound late Friday, capping a week of violence in the Holy City and the occupied West Bank.
Stones, bottles and fireworks were hurled after the officers fired at the crowds at Islam’s third-holiest site, also revered by Jews as the location of two biblical-era temples.
Tensions in Jerusalem have soared in recent weeks as Palestinians have protested against Israel’s restrictions on access to parts of the Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and after authorities ordered several
Palestinian families to leave their homes to make way for Israeli settlers.
The EU statement condemned the evictions as “illegal” and blamed them for increasing tensions.
“The situation with regard to the evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and other areas of East Jerusalem is also of serious concern,” it said.
“Such actions are illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground.”
Right now—the last Friday of Ramadan, the most sacred time of year for Muslims—Israeli forces are shooting rubber bullets & stun grenades at Palestinians inside Al Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam. There is no escaping the occupation’s violence. pic.twitter.com/Cixd9GSBfH— IMEU (@theIMEU) May 7, 2021
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