More than 200 Palestinian worshippers wounded in Al-Aqsa amid growing anger over Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah.
Tens of thousands of worshippers had earlier packed Islam’s third-holiest site on the final Friday of Ramadan and many stayed on to protest against Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.
Palestinians have staged a series of sit-ins in the area in recent days denouncing Israeli orders for them to vacate their homes. Israeli security forces have attacked the sit-ins using skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and shock grenades. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested.
Many politicians and international activists interacted with the events, calling for a more effective international intervention to stop Israel’s crimes in occupied Jerusalem;
Here is how countries and the international community have so far reacted to the events at Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah:
The UN’s rights office urged Israel to call off any forced evictions and warned its actions could amount to “war crimes”.
“We wish to emphasise that East Jerusalem remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law applies,” spokesman Rupert Colville said. “The occupying power … cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory.”
Transferring civilian populations into occupied territory is illegal under international law and “may amount to war crimes”, he added.
The European Union condemned violence at the compound and urged authorities to quickly calm tensions.
“Violence and incitement are unacceptable and the perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable,” 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.
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about the events and called on all sides to work to de-escalate them. It also expressed concern about the evictions.
“It’s critical to avoid unilateral steps that would exacerbate tensions or take us further away from peace. And that would include evictions, settlement activity, and home demolitions,” US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters in Washington.
Turkey also “strongly condemned” the Israeli forces’ “attacks” on Palestinian worshippers and called on the Israeli government “to put an end to this provocative and aggressive attitude”.
“Turkey will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian people,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The foreign ministry of Iran called on the UN to condemn the bloody Israeli police action in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, saying it amounted to a “war crime”.
Iran “condemns the attack on Al-Aqsa mosque … by the Quds (Jerusalem) occupier regime’s military”, foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
“This war crime once again proved to the world the criminal nature of the illegitimate Zionist regime,” he said, adding that Iran called on “the United Nations and other related international institutions to act on their definite duty to confront this war crime”.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque and University, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, has condemned in a statement “he Zionist entity’s terror and its brutal violations against the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem”.
Islamic Union for Muslim Scholars
For its part, the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) “strongly” condemned the Israeli police’s actions.
In a statement, it hailed the Palestinians in Jerusalem for being “persistent in the face of repeated Israeli aggression against the al-Aqsa mosque and the people of Sheikh Jarrah”.
IUMS Secretary-General Ali Qaradaghi encouraged the Muslim world to support the Palestinian cause materially and morally, considering such support a religious duty and necessity.