Disturbing footage on social media also showed armed IOF soldiers violently attacking elderly Palestinian women in Jerusalem.
Qatar has condemned the “provocative” Israeli storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque as well as settler attacks on Muslim and Christian worshippers, urging global action to halt such attacks.
In a statement on Wednesday, Qatar’s foreign ministry slammed the Israeli occupation’s entry restrictions on both Muslim and Palestinian worshippers who have been prevented from entering the holy sites to instead allow illegal settlers access to the areas.
“Qatar strongly condemns the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by hundreds of settlers, the imposition of severe entry restrictions on worshippers by the Israeli occupation authorities, and their refusal of a request from churches in Jerusalem and Haifa to protect worshippers from attacks by extremist groups,” the Gulf state said.
The statement added that it “considers these acts and decisions a provocation to the feelings of Muslims and Christians around the world.”
In the same statement, Qatar also warned against the introduction of any changes to the historical and legal status quo of all the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and its sanctities.
“It also holds the occupation authorities solely responsible for the cycle of violence that will result from this systematic policy against the rights of the Palestinian people and their lands and holy sites,” the statement added.
The Gulf state also urged the international community “to take urgent action to stop these attacks” and called on Israel “to provide the necessary protection for these holy sites and to respect the resolutions of international legitimacy.”
“The Ministry reiterates the firm position of the State of Qatar regarding the justice of the Palestinian cause, and the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, including the full right to practice their religious rituals without restrictions,” the statement said.
Hundreds of settlers heavily protected by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into the compounds of the Al Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday to mark the sixth day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
The settlers raided the mosque while performing Talmudic rituals as the IOF attacked and briefly detained Palestinians at the site, as per a report by Palestine’s news agency (Wafa).
Disturbing footage on social media also showed armed IOF soldiers violently attacking elderly Palestinian women in Jerusalem. Settlers were also seen spitting at Palestinian Christians and churches in the Old City of Jerusalem, witnesses on the ground told Wafa.
Majed Rishiq, a guard at the Church of Flagellation in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, said that spitting incidents near churches have recently intensified.
“The rise of extremism in Israel and hatred of non-Jews is fueled by fascist Israeli cabinet ministers such as Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who said that spitting on Christians is an old Jewish tradition,” Wafa reported.
Such violations at Palestinian holy sites are frequent under Israel’s system of apartheid as well as its wider attempts at changing the status quo of holy Muslim and Christian places of worship by judaizing them.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have faced increasing and intensifying attacks by Israel this year.
Last month, Gaza was on the receiving end of two weeks of Israeli violence along the separation fence, where Palestinians led mass protests against Israel’s closure of the Erez crossing.
The IOF responded to the demonstrations with air strikes, tanks and live fire, injuring dozens of protesters throughout the weeks-long escalation. Around 18,000 Gazans rely on the land port to access their jobs in occupied areas.
Earlier this week, Israel reopened the main crossing for Palestinian workers following a Qatari-mediated deal.
Cairo, which shares diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, and Doha—the host of Hamas’ political office—have been at the forefront of recent de-escalation efforts in the Gaza Strip.
This year has already been the deadliest for Palestinians since 2006, when the United Nations began counting deaths.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the start of the year, per figures shared by Palestine’s health ministry.
Last month, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani dedicated a large portion of his speech before the UN General Assembly to highlight the need to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“If we truthfully constitute an international community, and not a merely diverse entities, it must be our duty to strive towards ending the injustice afflicting them, at least in accordance with what is required by the resolutions of this body, and entailed by international law,” Amir Tamim told world powers at the UN.
Sheikh Tamim added that “it is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness.”