Egypt reached out to Israel to calm tensions in Jerusalem but was met with indifference, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told an emergency Arab League meeting Tuesday on the crisis.
Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas exchanged heavy fire Tuesday, killing at least 26 Palestinians and two Israelis, in an escalation sparked by violent unrest at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The international community has called for calm, while Muslim countries have voiced outrage amid the worst flare-up of Israel-Palestinian violence in years.
“In the last few days, Egypt extensively reached out to Israel and other concerned countries urging them to exert all possible efforts to prevent the deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem,” said Shoukry.
“But we did not get the necessary response,” he told the meeting of the Arab League via videoconference.
While not specifying the other countries Egypt contacted, he condemned “Israeli violations at the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque which crossed over into Sheikh Jarrah” in east Jerusalem.
Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit also lambasted Israeli violence directed toward Palestinians in east Jerusalem in the meeting’s opening remarks.
“Israel wants to convince the world that what happened in Sheikh Jarrah is a real-estate dispute over some homes, as if we don’t have a memory,” he said.
He described the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being “completely beholden to the hardened agenda of settlers and extremist religious parties in Israel.”
Netanyahu warned Tuesday that Israel would “intensify the power” of its attacks on Hamas after two Israeli women were killed by rockets.
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