The violence was the worst in years at Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina and the largest mosque in Jerusalem, with a capacity to receive around 5,000 people.
Israeli armed forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem on Monday as the violence in the country continues to escalate. Soldiers fired rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs at Palestinians, injuring hundreds. Over the weekend, Israeli armed forces injured hundreds of worshippers and demonstrators at Al-Aqsa.
Some of the incidents took place on Saturday night, one of the holiest nights of the month of Ramadan. This comes as protests continue to intensify against the expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in the Israeli-occupied area of East Jerusalem.
UN, EU AND USA DEMAND AN END TO POLICE AGGRESSION
The UN condemns violence against Palestinians and declares that “people have the right to exercise their prayers and traditions without fear, in peace and security.”
The United Nations, through its Commissioner for the Alliance between Civilizations, Miguel Angel Moratinos, demands “respect for the holy sites in East Jerusalem” and expresses the wish for the “speedy recovery of those injured in the clashes around the Al Aqsa mosque.”
In its declaration, the European Union calls on “the authorities to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions in Jerusalem”.
EGYPT AND JORDAN JOIN CONDEMNATIONS AGAINST VIOLENCE
Jordan and Egypt have strongly condemned the government of Israel for the violence, stating that it is incumbent on Israel to guarantee freedom to Palestinians under its jurisdiction as an occupying power.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry warned against the “dangerous escalation” and stressed that “international law requires Israel, as an occupying power, to guarantee peace for the faithful at Al Aqsa.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez, meanwhile, condemned Israel’s behaviour, “especially its abuse against the human rights of Palestinians, in addition to the unacceptable effort to displace Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.”
Sheikh Jarrah, the most recent case of mass expulsion is far from being the only one the expulsion of Palestinians takes the most diverse forms, from resorting to slaughter – like the massacre in Deir Yassin – to the use of legal pretexts as is now happening in the Jerusalem neighbourhood.
Now, solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah (300 people from various families) mobilises Palestinians from all sectors and regions, as well as many Israelis. The demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah are constant and police repression has grown in tandem with the protests. The repression of acts in this neighbourhood is one of the main focuses of the clashes taking place in Jerusalem, when acts in solidarity with the repressed and threatened residents of Sheikh Jarrah echo throughout Arab Jerusalem.
Why the Al-AqsaMosque has often been a site of conflict (the article below was taken from the blog theconversation.com)
The violence that spread from Jerusalem to cities across Israel and the Palestinian territories, leaving at least 60 dead so far, has both historical and contemporary roots.
In recent weeks, tension has flared over the eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities blocking access to the important Damascus Gate plaza during Ramadan, and a march of thousands of Israeli ultra-nationalists through the city on May 6, 2021, in celebration of “Jerusalem Day,” which marks the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967.
But the one incident that led to a significant escalation involved Israeli security forces firing rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at worshipers gathered at Al-Aqsa mosque on May 7.
(…) Al-Aqsa has deep religious significance for Muslims around the world. But, it is also important to highlight its remarkable political relevance for Palestinians. These two facts make it a focal point for conflict.
Place in Islamic history
After Mecca and Medina, the vast majority of Muslims worldwide consider Jerusalem the third holiest place on Earth.
Described as “the most sensitive site in the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” it has frequently been host to political acts.
Controlled access to the site reminds Palestinians of their relative powerlessness in their ongoing land disputes with Israeli authorities. At the same time, attacks at Al-Aqsa resonate with Muslims across the world who react with horror to what they see as the desecration of one of their most sacred sites. (If you wanna read all the second part taken from the article written by Ken Chitwood, click here