Arabs to ‘confront Israeli aggression’ on Al-Aqsa

Israeli policemen prevent Palestinian women from entering the compound which houses al-Aqsa mosque. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has confirmed that movement will be made “at all levels to confront any act of aggression carried out by the Israeli occupation or the Israeli settlers against Al-Aqsa Mosque,” according to a statement released by Saudi Press Agency.

“A discussion was conducted on the Palestinian issue and what is happening at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and how to deal with these aggressive moves by the Zionist enemy in an attempt to seize the mosque, as well as how to intensify the efforts of the Arab and Muslim countries to condemn these Israeli actions and confront them on all tracks, in accordance with the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with unanimous approval of the Arab countries,” Jubeir said in a press statement following a meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers held in Cairo on Sunday.

“We will begin to move on this front to deal with any act of aggression by Israel or Israeli settlers against Al-Aqsa Mosque", Jubeir added.

Earlier on Sunday, Muslim witnesses said Israeli police entered the mosque and caused damage to prayer mats.

Israeli police said only that they closed the doors to the mosque to lock in rioters throwing stones, fireworks and other objects.

They said clashes continued outside the compound in the narrow alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City, where they responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 20 people required hospital treatment.

The mosque compound is the site of frequent clashes. In late July, Israeli police entered Al-Aqsa as they clashed with Muslims angered by Jews’ access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.

Agression ‘strongly condemned’

Outgoing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned on Sunday the “aggression” committed by the Israeli army on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The Arab leader - who last month announced his resignation as Palestinian Liberation Organization chief - said in a statement that he “strongly condemned the aggression of the Israeli storming of al-Aqsa this morning with troops and occupation police.”

Meanwhile, Jordan, which has custodian rights over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also condemned the assault on the flashpoint holy site.

“The Jordanian government condemns the assault carried out by special forces of the Israeli occupation army against the Al-Aqsa mosque compound,” Information Minister Mohammed Momani said.

He accused Israel of “provocations” and “attempts to change the status quo” at one of the most sensitive holy sites in the Middle East.

Jordan was not the only Arab country to slam Israel’s assault as Egypt, the only other Arab country to have signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state, also condemned Israeli actions at the compound, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

The Egyptian foreign ministry condemned the use of tear gas and sound bombs as an “unacceptable escalation against Muslim holy places in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

Under the current status quo, Jews are permitted to visit the esplanade but not to pray there for fear it would cause friction with Muslim worshippers.

[With AFP]

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Last Update: 06:48 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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