On Thursday night Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem and injured approximately 30 Palestinians, including three journalists.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has repeated the Gulf nation’s rejection of Israel’s violence in occupied Jerusalem. It follows a series of provocative actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and at Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
His comments came after the fourth meeting of the Arab Ministerial Committee in Charge of International Action to Confront Illegal Israeli Policies and Measures in the Occupied City of Jerusalem which was held in Amman.
The committee includes Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. The Qatari delegation was headed by the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
“Participated in the Arab Ministerial Committee Responsible for Taking Action to Stop Israeli Measures in Occupied Jerusalem. We stress the need to end repeated attacks that demonstrate impunity of occupation without accountability and a double standard in applying international law,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed.
The meeting came as Israeli settlers and occupation forces (IOF) continue to raid the Al Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem, attacking Palestinians and preventing them from entering the holy site.
The move is seen as a provocative measure to stop Palestinians from entering the place of worship during Ramadan. Such acts are typically carried out towards the end of the holy month on an annual basis.
At the meeting in Amman, Sheikh Mohammed said the attacks are “the latest addition to the repeated violations of the sanctity of the mosque” and “a provocation to the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world.”
Sheikh Mohammed renewed Qatar’s “rejection of all escalatory measures taken by the Israeli occupation forces” and called for the need to calm the situation.
He also reiterated the Gulf state’s “firm and supportive position on the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is the establishment of an independent state on his homeland, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Ministers at the high-level meeting have also called for the preservation of the “historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sanctities.”
The meeting was followed with a reception hosted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, where the situation in Palestine was further discussed.
Israeli riot police stormed the Al-Aqsa compound last week during which at least 158 Palestinians were wounded and hundreds were detained.
The IOF have been attacking Palestinians by firing tear gas at them and rubber-coated steel bullets. Mass detentions have also been taking place in Al Aqsa and other areas in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission also said on Monday that the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israel without charge or trial has increased to 650.
Speaking to Qatar’s News Agency (QNA) on Wednesday, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, director of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, that Israel’s attacks are “an indicator of the occupation’s failure.”
“The occupying Israeli entity has no right inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque is purely the right of Muslims…these incursions are an attempt to impose sovereignty and transform the struggle as if it were religious,” he said.
Sheikh Al-Kiswani warned that the absence of a “serious position” from the Arab and Islamic countries would enable Israel’s actions to continue.
In another interview with QNA, the Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, said that the illegal plans to impose a temporal and spatial division of the Al Aqsa mosque.
The temporal division entails enabling Israeli settlers to enter the mosque from seven to 10 in the morning and during the afternoon with the full protection of “extremists who desecrate Al Aqsa.”
Sheikh Al-Kiswani said that the apartheid state already started the temporal division as it prevents Palestinians from entering the mosque at specific timings whilst enabling settlers to access it.
Gaza under attack
There have been comparisons between the latest attacks in Jerusalem to last year’s violence, raising concerns that there will be more attacks towards Palestinians with an absence of efforts to stop such measures.
Last year’s assaults were followed with an 11-day bombing of the besieged Gaza strip in May last year, where at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children were killed. The offensive ended after a Qatar-Egypt brokered a ceasefire.
On Thursday night, Israel launched air strikes on Gaza’s Zaytoun neighbourhood and the Nusseirat camp. Palestinians in Gaza reported damage to their property. No casualties were reported.