Arab League to hold emergency meeting over Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Apr 2023

​The Arab League said it will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon over an Israeli police raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Arab League
File Photo: Arab League foreign ministers meet during an annual meeting in Cairo. AFP


Jordan had called for the meeting in coordination with Egypt and Palestinian officials, reported Reuters. 

In the early hours of Wednesday, Israeli police broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem, forcefully removing hundreds of worshippers performing the ʿitikāf (seclusion for prayers) and tahajjud (night prayers) at the Muslim holy compound. 

Videos have gone viral on social media showing the Israeli police breaking into the mosque, beating the worshipers with clubs and firing gas bombs and sound grenades inside the mosque. 

Earlier today, the AL Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the Israeli attack, saying "these irresponsible acts in the holy places touch the religious feelings of millions of Muslims around the world, especially during the holy month of Ramadan."

In a statement, Abul Gheit called on the international community, represented by the member states of the United Nations Security Council, to take urgent action to push Israel to stop this "dangerous" escalation.

Such acts "threaten to ignite the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories," the statement quoted Abul Gheit as saying. 

He also called on the Israeli government to respect the sanctity of the holy month, and to stop these "provocative" actions that would inflame feelings and fuel anger, warning against the consequences of exporting the internal political crisis in Israel to the Palestinian people. 

"The extremist tendencies that control the policy of the Israeli government could lead to widespread confrontations with the Palestinians if not halted," he stressed. 

Several Arab countries condemned the Israeli attacks, including Egypt, Jordan – which serves as the custodian of the mosque – warning of the consequences of the Israel assault. 

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said over 500 worshippers were detained in the raid, and ambulances were prevented from attending to hundreds of injured worshippers. 

It added that the storming caused "irreparable" damage to the Mosque, including by causing a fire. 

Dozen Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets used by Israeli police and others were beaten in the attacks, the Palestinian ministry added. 

Tensions have been running high since the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late December. 

As a result, several raids were launched over the past few months by the Israeli forces on occupied territories of the West Bank, including Jenin and Nablus. 

In early January, Israel's far-right national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s stormed  Al-Aqsa mosque. 

Israel has killed at least 93 Palestinians and wounded many others since the beginning of the year.

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