According to Palestinian media reports, the Palestinians condemned the Israeli police for attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, and then fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at believers in the Third Holy Land of Islam in occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinian officials said that Israeli police had forcibly evacuated Muslim believers in one of the most sensitive locations in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, clearing the way for Jewish tourists.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), which manages parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said in a statement that it believes that “the Israeli occupying government is fully responsible for the escalation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex caused by Israel’s invasion of occupied Jerusalem”.
The Palestinian Authority described the Jewish visit as provocative and a “serious threat” to “security and stability.”
However, the Israeli police stated that in the early hours of the morning, Palestinian “young people began to throw stones at the police forces in Temple Mount Square, and the police forces dispersed them”.
The Israeli police monitor and manage Jewish visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, which are the holiest places in Islam after Mecca and Medina.
The location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is known by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or Temple of the Nobles, while Jews call the place of worship the Temple Mount.
The incident occurred two days before the Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha, and on the eve of their annual Hajj.
The Hamas organization that rules the Gaza Strip called on Palestinians to go to Jerusalem and stay in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound until Eid al-Fitr prayers.
‘Violations and attacks’
In a statement published on the official Palestinian website, the Jordanian Islamic religious organization responsible for managing the holy sites in the compound condemned “violations and attacks” carried out by “Jewish fanatic groups” under the support and political cover of the Israeli government. Wafa claimed that Israel “aims” Launch a religious war”.
The spokesperson of Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, De Farah Fayyad, said: “Israel’s actions against the mosque have been rejected and condemned and violated the historical and legal status quo, international law, and Israel’s obligations as the occupying power of East Jerusalem.” In a statement.
According to the unwritten arrangement of the Ottoman era supervised by Waqf, Muslims can pray at the place, and non-Muslims can only enter as tourists.
The European Union mission in the Palestinian territories stated in a tweet that it was “concerned about the ongoing tensions” and urged against “incitement”.
It also called for respect for the status quo of the site and urged Israeli, religious and community leaders to urgently “quell this explosive situation.”
“freedom of religion”
But Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in an official statement after the incident that he instructed Jews to “continue to visit there while maintaining order on the scene”.
In the second statement after the condemnation of Waqf and PA, Bennett emphasized that “the freedom of worship on the Temple Mount will also be fully reserved for Muslims” and pointed out the upcoming Eid al-Adha.
Sunday is also the Jewish holiday Tisha B’Av, and usually sees an increase in the number of Israeli tourists to the Holy Land.
Israeli media reported that more than 1,000 Israelis walked through Jerusalem Square. But a spokesperson for a Jewish group encouraging such visits told AFP that 1,679 pilgrims were in the mosque compound on Sunday morning and afternoon.
Most of them are devout Jews, some of them with children, they visited the site under close police guard to commemorate Tisha B’Av fast day.
Expresses concern about the ongoing tension around Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Incitement must be avoided and the status quo must be respected. Israeli authorities, religious and community leaders from all sides should act urgently to quell this explosive situation.
-The European Union and the Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) July 18, 2021
Two years ago, when Jewish and Muslim holidays coincided, dozens of Palestinians were injured by the Israeli army and seven others were arrested.
The area is located in the walled Old City of Jerusalem and is part of the territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, a step that the international community has never recognized.
In May, the Israeli army attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. After attacking Muslim believers in the last few days of Ramadan, Israel launched an 11-day attack on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed at least 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, while rockets launched by Palestinian groups killed at least 12 people, including two children. The escalation ended with a ceasefire with international mediation.