Jerusalem- Several Muslim countries have denounced a violent Israeli assault on Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
More than 200 Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of Palestinians attending night prayers at the compound.
The clashes took place on the International Quds Day, the last Friday of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said 88 of those wounded were taken to hospital, adding, one of them lost an eye, two suffered serious head wounds and two had their jaws fractured.
Dozens of worshipers were also arrested by the occupation forces, according to Wafa news agency.
In a televised statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held the Tel Aviv regime fully responsible for the “dangerous developments and sinful attacks that are taking place in the Holy City, and for the consequences thereof,” urging the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent session on the issue.
Tensions have increased in the occupied West Bank during Ramadan, with nightly clashes in East Jerusalem al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah, which sits near the Old City’s Damascus gate.
Numerous families face eviction in the Palestinian neighborhood due to illegal settlement expansion policies of the occupying regime.
On Friday, scuffles broke out near Sheikh Jarrah as Israeli forces used water cannon mounted on armored vehicles to disperse protesters.
Iran ‘strongly condemns’ Israeli raid
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic “strongly condemns” the Israeli raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qiblah of Muslims (a place toward which Muslims pray), on the Quds Day.
“This war crime once again proved to the world the criminal nature of the illegitimate Zionist regime and the need for urgent international action to stop the violation of the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law,” he added.
“In addition to condemning this definite crime against humanity and offering condolences to the families of the martyrs of this incident and wishing a speedy recovery for the wounded, the Islamic Republic of Iran calls on the UN and other relevant international organizations to fulfill their decisive duty against the war crime.”
Khatibzadeh also noted that Iran “proudly stands by the heroic people of Palestine and calls on all world countries, especially Muslim states, to honor their historic task and stand by the Palestinian nation in the face of the Zionist aggressors.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “strongly condemns” Friday’s attack by Israeli forces on Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque.
“We call on the Israeli government to put an end to this provocative and aggressive attitude as soon as possible by targeting the freedom of worship of the Palestinian people and the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, and invite them to sanity,” the statement read.
“Turkey will continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian people.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu took to Twitter to say, “It is inhumane for Israel to target innocents praying during Holy Ramadan.”
Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also tweeted, “Israeli occupation forces, which don’t respect any religious values during the holy month of Ramadan, must leave al-Aqsa mosque immediately.”
Qatar said the Israeli raid “was a provocation to the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world, and a severe violation of human rights and international accords.”
The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed in a statement that the international community must “move swiftly to end the repeated Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and Al Aqsa mosque.”
It further emphasized Doha’s “firm position of the fairness of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their religious rights and right to establish an independent state based on the borders of 1967 with al-Quds as its capital.”
Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry blasted the mosque attack, calling it a blatant affront to the feelings of Muslims and rules of human rights.
It also held Israeli authorities responsible for a dangerous escalation and consequences that may result.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry similarly denounced Israeli forces for breaking into the al-Aqsa Mosque and attacking worshipers.
Egypt’s al-Azhar University, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, condemned the “brutal Zionist terrorism in the light of shameful international silence” toward what is going on in Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Islamic Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), instead, hailed the steadfastness of Palestinians in al-Quds in the face of Israeli aggression and plans to displace them from their homes.
IUMS Secretary-General Ali Qaradaghi encouraged the Muslim world to support the Palestinian cause materially and morally, calling it a religious duty and necessity.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry refused to condemn the attack, only saying Israel’s unilateral measures undermine chances to resume “peace” talks.
“We reject Israel’s plans and measures to evict Palestinians from their homes in al-Quds and to impose Israel’s sovereignty on them,” it said.
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