Palestine warns against mass storming of Al-Aqsa by Israeli settlers


RAMALLAH, Palestine

Palestine on Sunday warned against calls for mass storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers.

In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said Israel is intensifying calls through government bodies and extremist associations to urge Israeli settlers “to participate in provocative rallies in the streets and neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem and its old town.”

The ministry said the mass storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is being planned for Monday under the slogan of what the occupation calls the “Unification of Jerusalem Day.” On this day, Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry stated that the settler associations are using the slogan “Day of the Unification of Jerusalem” to “attract more Jewish youth to participate in the storming of the Holy Mosque” as part of its plan to “judaize” the city.

On Saturday, the Council of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and Holy Places in Jerusalem warned Israeli authorities from heeding the calls of Jewish extremists “for massive incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Meanwhile, Palestine’s representative to the UN Ibrahim Khreisheh told the government-owned Voice of Palestine Radio on Sunday that there are “contacts and consultations to discuss the possibility of holding a meeting or a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR) regarding the occupation attacks in occupied Jerusalem.”

He stated that ambassadors from the European Union, Arab and Islamic organizations and other countries are among those consulted.

Khreisheh noted that a UN Security Council meeting will be held on Monday, and if the escalation persists then a session of the Human Rights Council may be called.

Palestinians in recent days have protested in solidarity with residents of occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood amid clashes with Israeli police.

The protests came as the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers at the beginning of this year.

Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Friday evening, using stun grenades and gas bombs. Women were also targeted by Israeli forces, according to witnesses.

At least 205 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara


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