France on Monday expressed serious concern over clashes and violence in the occupied holy city over the past few days, which has left several hundred injured.
“France calls on all actors to show maximum restraint and to refrain from any kind of provocation so that calm may be restored as quickly as possible. All actions contributing to escalation on the ground must end,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It added, “France is deeply concerned by the threat of forced evictions against residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem (al-Quds), which are linked to the settlement policy – which is illegal under international law – and exacerbate tensions. France also reaffirms its commitment to preserving the historic status quo on the Temple Mount (al-Aqsa Mosque).”
The European Union also called on all parties to deescalate amid a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters rallying against the forced expulsions of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties.
“The significant upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem as well as in and around Gaza needs to stop immediately,” the European Commission said in a statement issued late on Monday.
It also criticized Palestinian resistance groups over launching rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip into Israeli occupied territories.
The EU stopped short of denouncing the Tel Aviv regime’s overnight airstrikes against the blockaded coastal enclave, which left 25 people, including 9 children, dead.
Moreover, the UN Security Council held an urgent meeting on Monday evening on the unrest in Jerusalem al-Quds but issued no immediate statement.
Negotiations were held among the 15 member states of the world body Council on a text that could be watered down from an initial Norwegian draft statement.
Diplomats said the United States believed public comments would be counterproductive.
The United States, according to one diplomat, asserted during the closed-door video conference that it was “working behind the scenes” to calm the situation and it was “not sure that a statement at this point would help.”
Egypt’s al-Azhar blasts ‘disgraceful silence’ over Israeli assaults
Furthermore, Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar Islamic Center, has decried the world’s “disgraceful silence” over Israeli attacks on Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
“The world is still in a disgraceful silence towards the brutal Zionist terrorism and shameful violations against al-Aqsa Mosque, our [Palestinian] brethren and our holiest sites in Palestine,” Tayeb said in a statement on Facebook.
He said Palestine and its people will always confront the oppressors and remain steadfast in defending the holy sites.
“Tribute to this great people who are oppressed, O Almighty, bestow them with your victory,” Tayeb noted.
Yemen applauds Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli occupation
Separately, Yemen’s popular Anasrullah movement praised the rocket attacks by Palestinian resistance groups against Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s raids on occupied Jerusalem al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
“We urge free people in the [Palestinian] resistance [front] to press ahead with their military operations in the face of [Israel’s] occupation and settlement expansion policies. This is the correct and effective way to deter Zionists’ arrogance,” Ansarullah’s spokesman, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Monday.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a high-ranking member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, also tweeted that the Pentagon’s unwavering support for the Israeli and Saudi regimes has resulted in the massacre of Palestinians and Yemenis.
“This comes as the United States is claiming to have drawn up a peace plan,” Houthi pointed out.
Iraq’s Sadrist Movement ready to defend al-Aqsa Mosque
Additionally, Iraq’s Sadrist Movement led by influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has expressed full readiness to defend the revered al-Asqa Mosque in the face of Israeli forces’ violent crackdown on Palestinians.
Abu Yasser, a senior aide to the movement’s leader, stated on Monday that his group is prepared to confront Israeli criminals and enemies of the humankind.
Saudi Arabia condemns attacks by Israeli forces at al-Aqsa Mosque
Saudi Arabia also condemned attacks carried out by Israeli forces at al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry, in a statement released early on Tuesday, said the assaults by Israeli troops transgress the safety and security of worshippers at the holy site.
It then urged the international community to hold Israel accountable for the escalation of the tensions in Jerusalem al-Quds, and demanded the immediate cessation of any measure that is in violation of international pacts and treaties.
Pakistan, Venezuela slam Israeli violence
Pakistani Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, also wrote on his official Twitter page, “Heinous example of state terrorism by Israel against Palestinian worshipers at most sacred al-Aqsa Masjid! Sadly, the world continues to feign ignorance. Where is the outrage? Has humanity died?”
“It’s a one sided genocide for decades! Let’s get our facts straight and not fall for this nonsense propaganda of the Western media houses! It is state sponsored terrorism by Israel against unarmed innocent civilians!” the Pakistani minister wrote in another tweet.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also criticized Israeli forces’ violence against Palestinians during the holy month of Ramadan.
“These attacks are a clear violation of the human rights of Palestinian people, including those who can be displaced,” the Venezuelan minister stated.
The top Venezuelan diplomat then reiterated his country’s support for the sovereignty, independence and self-determination of the Palestinian nation.
Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and Gaza throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid the planned forced expulsions of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where illegal Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties of Palestinian families.
Israel’s so-called Supreme Court on Monday postponed a key ruling in the case, citing the “circumstances.”
The violent crackdown by Israeli forces against Palestinians in the city and the ensuing clashes have already sparked global concern that the unrest could spread further.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza, but has been occupying the other territories since.