Israel has faced increasing international pressure to curb right-wing Jewish settlers and end planned evictions from a crucial neighborhood in East Jerusalem that have sparked violent clashes between police and Palestinians, including in the compound of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which both signed a peace treaty with Israel last year, condemned Israel, while the United States – the Jewish state’s staunchest ally – has spoken out deeply concerned about the plan to expel several Palestinian families who have lived in the country. Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood for generations. Turkey called Israel’s actions “terrorism”.
“It is essential to avoid measures that exacerbate tensions or take us further away from peace,” the US State Department said, listing Israeli expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, which includes East Jerusalem, as triggers. .
Thousands of Palestinian youth protested near the hills surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday evening, and Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse crowds after breaking the daily fast during Ramadan . Some 200 Palestinians were injured, no fatalities, and 17 police officers were injured, Palestinian and Israeli doctors said.
Police said the Palestinians threw stones, fireworks and other objects at the officers. Videos uploaded show police officers throwing stun grenades at crowds, including one who entered the mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.
The mosque is in an area controlled by Israel, which captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in 1967, but administered by an Islamic foundation.
Turkish officials condemn Israel for al-Aqsa confrontation
“Attacking innocent people during worship is blatant terrorism”,
Fahrettin Altun, senior communications adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told state broadcaster TRT on Friday evening. “These attacks on the Palestinian people are violations of the most basic human rights, the whole world sees it. Sadly, much of the world, especially the west, plays the three monkeys and is silent.
The area on which the mosque is located is called the Temple Mount by the Jews and is the holiest site in Judaism – the original home of the second temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Many Jews worship at the Western Wall, the surviving part of the temple, and face in its direction during prayer.
Jewish settlers have targeted Sheikh Jarrah, a middle-class Arab neighborhood between east and west Jerusalem for decades, in an attempt to make the region predominantly Jewish.
Sheikh Jarrah is home to the legendary American Colony Hotel, a relatively affluent middle-class Arab population, and ends near the Ancient Damascus Gate, an entrance to the old walled city of Jerusalem. It also houses an ancient tomb of a Jewish high priest, Simon the Just.
Long-standing trials involving the homes of several Palestinian families are expected to result in a verdict soon, as lawyers for the families brace for a decision that will hand their homes over to the settlers.
At the center of the dispute is whether the families legally owned the houses before 1967, when the neighborhood was controlled by Jordan. This property is technically recognized under Israeli law, but human rights groups have documented that Palestinians routinely lose property rights lawsuits, particularly in the occupied West Bank.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said they had already provided documents proving the families were the “rightful owners” of their homes.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for Monday, which is also Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, when it captured the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Although relatively peaceful in the rest of the country, Jerusalem Day is a regular flashpoint between Palestinians in East Jerusalem and right-wing Israelis.
Arab groups announced mass protests on Saturday, and the Israeli police stepped up their deployments with protests set to peak on Monday.