Israel playing with fire, fanning violence
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has blasted the latest Israeli aggression against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), saying the Tel Aviv regime is instigating “violence and insecurity”.
“Israel is playing with fire,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said during a Monday meeting with Alastair McPhail, the British consul general to al-Quds.
“Clearly, Israel is deliberately creating and escalating a situation of instability, insecurity and violence,” Ashrawi said.
The senior PLO official went on to say that Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians, especially during the Jewish New Year holidays and ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha on September 23-24, is provoking the entire Muslim world.
The al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, together with its surrounding compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds is a flashpoint. The site is revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Ashrawi said that Israeli authorities are trying to forcibly take control of the site “in preparation for the total annexation and transformation of al-Haram al-Sharif,” referring to the mosque compound by its Arabic name.
The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
She further called on the international community, including Muslim countries, “to intervene immediately before Israel succeeds in launching a global holy war.”
On Monday, more than 200 Israeli soldiers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque, firing rubber bullets and tear gas at Palestinians. A number of Palestinians were wounded in the attack.
The brutal attack came a day after similar clashes broke out at the site following the deployment of Israeli soldiers to the area for the Jewish Rosh Hashanah New Year holiday.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned Israel against any further violence at the al-Aqsa compound, saying, “Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel.”
“Jordan will not have a choice but to take actions, unfortunately,” he added.
The ministerial councils of the Arab League also issued a statement on Sunday, warning Tel Aviv against the possible repercussions of its actions.
In a Sunday statement, United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Nickolay Mladenov expressed concern over the violence perpetrated by the Tel Aviv regime forces in East al-Quds, saying, “I encourage all to stand firmly against incitement and violence.”