Israel Palestine Conflict

UAE, Saudi Arabia condemn Israeli ‘storming’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque

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The UAE condemned the “storming” of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli “extremists” under the protection of the Israeli police, in a statement on Tuesday.

The Gulf state’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the holy site in Jerusalem must be provided “full protection” and called for the “halt of serious and provocative violations taking place there.”

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The site of frequent flashpoint between the Israelis and Palestinians is also revered by the Jewish community, who refer to the place as Temple Mount. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and is administered by Jordan. Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the site, but not pray there.

“The Ministry called upon Israeli authorities to halt escalation, and avoid exacerbating tension and instability in the region, affirming the UAE’s rejection of all practices that violate resolutions on international legitimacy and threaten further escalation,” the MoFA statement said.

The visit coincided with the Jewish tradition of Rosh Hashana.

The UAE routinely denounces Israeli actions that impact Palestinians or stir unrest in the conflict-stricken nation despite trade and investment ties between the UAE and Israel having grown since the signing of the Abraham Accords agreement in 2020, during which the two countries established diplomatic relations.

The two countries marked the third anniversary of the agreement on September 15.

Earlier, on Monday, Saudi Arabia issued a statement condemning the incident.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and denunciation of the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by a group of extremists under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces,” according to a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report.

“The Ministry affirms that these practices are considered a blatant violation of all international norms and conventions, and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world,” it added.

The statement comes as the US works on normalizing diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The process, however, “remains fraught over specifics, including Palestine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters last week.

Both the GCC neighbors meanwhile reiterated the need for efforts to advance the peace process, and end practices that threaten the two-state solution which would establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in their statements.

Egypt, Yemen and Jordan also issued similar statements condemning the visit.

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