A number of Qatari officials have condemned Israel’s attacks in Jerusalem on Friday.
#AlAqsaUnderAttack has topped Twitter trends in Qatar as the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carry out new attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem.
According to the Palestinian news agency (WAFA) Israeli forces detained and beat up dozens of Muslim worshipers whilst locking some inside the mosque. Israeli settler mobs have also performed provocative rituals at the holy site under the protection of the Zionist state.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said that it has treated at least 10 injuries following the latest raid of the mosque. A previous raid took place on Friday morning to enable Jewish settlers to use the site for the celebration of the Passover holiday.
“At these moments, the Israeli occupation forces are trying to storm the prayer hall of the Dome of the Rock site at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and besiege the worshipers,” tweeted prominent Qatari journalist Jaber Al Harmi.
On Friday, Israeli forces injured more than 150 Palestinians and detained more than 400 Palestinian worshipers, including children, per WAFA’s reports. Eighteen Palestinian children, all below the age of 14, of those arrested were later released on the same day.
Videos of the IOF beating up the elderly and children have also sparked outrage in Qatar and the world.
“The Zionist rhetoric would say if you condemn this awful attack on Palestinians & elderly people that this is false information and libelous accusations fueling antisemitism. Actually, you have to condemn the victims if you want to please zionists,” tweeted Al Jazeera presenter Ghada Oueiss on Sunday.
Al Jazeera journalist Ali Younes also tweeted a disturbing video that has been circulating online of Israeli soldiers attacking a Palestinian man in front of his children.
“This is part of the Israeli army wider assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Ramadan,” said Younes.
The latest Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa come following increased killings of Palestinians and mass arrests in the West Bank.
According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, the total killings carried out so far this year represent almost five times the total of those conducted in the same period in 2021.
The rights group said that it documented 47 killings, including seven children, since the start of this year.
The group added that at least 18 Palestinians have been killed in the first half of this month alone. Those killings and detainments have been urged by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who described Palestinians as “terrorists”.
Officials in Qatar immediately condemned Friday’s attacks and previous ones that took place in the West Bank, especially the village of Jenin.
“Countries chanting for Human Rights won’t talk about boycotting Israeli Occupation, they WON’T talk about abusing ‘religious minorities’, they won’t mobilise Security Council to stop the longest existing military occupation, in fact they’d stop any movement to boycott or condemn,” tweeted Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater.
Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs Dr. Mohammed Al-Khulaifi said that the Israeli occupation’s practices have proven to disregard international law.
He added that they also do not respect “the values of religion and the seasons of worship, which calls for the Islamic countries to unite in a firm stance that repels this aggression”.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Majed Al Ansari said that the latest Israeli assaults is the result of the international community’s approach to the Palestinian cause with double standards.
“Scenes of worshipers lying on the floor being subjected to systematic terrorism is a natural result of the continuation of the international community’s [application of] double standards,” tweeted Dr. Al Ansari.
“In Jerusalem, the world turns a blind eye and does not see a crime unless the victim defends himself,” he added.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) denounced the IOF’s storming of Al-Qibli Mosque and arresting Palestinian worshipers. It described it as yet another provocation “to the feelings of Millions of Muslims around the world” during the month of Ramadan.
“These repeated and systematic attacks by the occupation against the defenceless Palestinian people and the sanctities of Muslims are a result of the repeated impunity of the occupation, the betrayal by the international community of the Palestinian cause,” added MOFA.
Unlike some countries in the Arab world, including Bahrain and the UAE, Qatar has staunchly refused to normalise with the Zionist state. It has long committed to the 2002 Arab Peace initiative.
Under the initiative, member countries shall refrain from normalising with Israel until it fully withdraws from lands occupied in 1967.
The Gulf state’s role was praised on Saturday by Hamas official Khaled Mashal, thanking Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
“I ask God to bless the dearly nation of Qatar that hosts a large Palestinian diaspora and the nation that opens its mind and heart at the leadership of His Highness the Amir to all of the ummah’s cases, with the Palestinian case being at the top,” Mashal told the closing ceremony of the Ramadan Book Exhibition.
On Thursday, before the attacks at the mosque, Sheikh Tamim spoke separately to Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The calls focused on the developments in Palestine, with Sheikh Tamim calling for the need to work on de-escalation.
“His Highness stressed in this regard the State of Qatar’s firm position of supporting the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, starting with establishing an independent state, with East Al Quds as its capital,” said the Amiri Diwan.
Many people have addressed the similarities between this year and last year’s the developments in Jerusalem during Ramadan. Such attacks on Palestinians were followed with an 11-day bombardment of Gaza.
At least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed during the bombardment. Qatar had stepped in by brokering a ceasefire along with Egypt in May that put an end to the deadly bombings of Palestinian civilians.