Russia condemns Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem

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MOSCOW

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“This development of events is received with deep concern in Moscow. We strongly condemn attacks against civilians,” it said in a statement. “We call on all parties to refrain from any steps fraught with the escalation of violence.”

Russia’s also reaffirmed its position that “the expropriation of land and property located on it, as well as the creation of settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, have no legal force.”

“Such actions are a violation of international law and hinder the achievement of a peaceful settlement based on the creation of two states — Palestine and Israel,” it said.

The number of Palestinian injured rose to 205 late Friday after Israel attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus Gate of the Old City and the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem.

Police attacked Muslim worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque while they were performing tarawih — special night prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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.

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* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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