The headquarters of the Egyptian foreign ministry in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt has condemned Israeli authorities' storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulting of the Palestinian worshippers there, as more than 200 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem.
Tensions and violence escalated in East Jerusalem, captured and occupied by Israel in a 1967 war, amid Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from lands claimed by Jewish settlers.
Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, where most of the injuries took place, on Friday after Al-Ishaa (evening) prayers.
Thousands of Palestinian worshippers gathered for prayers at the mosque and many of them remained after that to protest the potential eviction of Palestinian families at East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah district.
The Egyptian foreign ministry in a Friday statement called for the Israeli authorities to “shoulder its responsibility in accordance with international law in providing the required protection for the Palestinian civilians and their right to perform their religious rituals.”
The ministry also stressed the need to “halt any activities that violate the sanctity of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the holy month of Ramadan and the Islamic, and the Christian Arab identity of Jerusalem city and its sanctities and alter its ongoing historical and legal status”.
It reiterated rejection of any illegal activities that seek to undermine the legal and unwavering rights of the Palestinian people, particularly the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories as well as confiscation of lands and displacement of Palestinians.
This “represents a violation of international law, undermines the chances of achieving the two-state solution and [represents] a threat to the pillars of security and stability in the region,” the ministry said.
The ministry denounced the ongoing Israeli endeavour to evict Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district, saying it “represents a violation of the international legitimacy resolutions and the international humanitarian law and a continuation of the policy of forced displacement of Palestinians.”
The United States, the United Nations and the international community have called for de-escalation and restraint in Jerusalem. The US, the European Union, Jordan and the Gulf Cooperation Council have warned against the planned evictions.