New clashes broke out Monday between Palestinians and Israeli police who stormed Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, as an expected increase in Jewish visitors to the site over the Sukkot holiday boosted tensions.
The Sheikh stressed that this was completely “unacceptable” and was the reason why Muslim worshipers remained inside Al-Aqsa Mosque from the previous day.
Police said young protesters barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, despite an order permitting only men over the age of 50 from entering the compound for prayers.
Israel insists that it is committed to maintaining the status quo.
On September 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that his cabinet “has chose to authorize police to use live ammunition against people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails”.
But its actions in quelling the violence have drawn criticism from Arab countries, including Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel and administers Muslim religious affairs at the site.
He said there are a number of issues of importance to the security of Israel, with a top concern being the deal struck with Iran.
The highly sensitive site is the third holiest in Islam but is also known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the most sacred in Judaism.
Witnesses on the ground in occupied Jerusalem (holy city of Quds) told Al Jazeera that the Israeli police entered the mosque shortly before 7am local time (0400 GMT) on Monday. The article, titled The First-Ever Raising of Palestine’s Flag at the United Nations is Our Moment of Hope, can be accessed here.
He reiterated Qatar’s firm stance on supporting the Palestinian people and their just cause until their rights are restored and their independent state with full sovereignty and its capital in East Jerusalem is established. Earlier this month, the area saw three days of clashes that left dozens of Palestinians injured. Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray to avoid provoking tensions.
At the beginning of August, both Israeli and Palestinian communities were horrified by an arson attack in the West Bank that burned alive 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, with his parents having died from their wounds days later.
Tear gas and rubber bullets were been fired by the police as the protesters showered them with stones in city neighborhoods around the Mount of Olives, including in Shaufat refugee camp.
“It is time to finally achieve the independence of the State of Palestine, peacefully resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”, he wrote.
“I will stress that unfortunately, the Palestinians continue to spread blatant lies about our policy on Temple Mount, and I will demand an end to this wild incitement”, he said before leaving for New York. Harsher measures were approved last week with Israel’s response that would loosen the rules of engagement for police to respond to stone throwers.