Several Arab countries condemned the storming of occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday by Israel’s new extreme-right national security minister, The New Arab reported.
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were among the nations to slam the move by firebrand Itamar Ben-Gvir, while the United States warned of steps that may harm the status quo.
Palestinian FM: It is a ‘Serious Threat’
The Palestinian foreign ministry called Ben-Gvir’s attendance at the site a “serious threat”, while Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast it as a bid to turn Al-Aqsa Mosque “into a Jewish temple”.
Addressing his cabinet, Shtayyeh also called on Palestinians to “confront the raids into Al-Aqsa Mosque” after Ben-Gvir toured the periphery of the mosque compound. The extremist minister did not approach the mosque.
Qatar Condemns ‘in the Strongest Terms’
The Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement that Doha “condemns in the strongest terms” Ben-Gvir’s “storming of the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli occupation authorities”.
“It considers this act a flagrant violation of international law and the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem,” the statement added, referring to Jordan’s role in overseeing the city’s sacred places.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns of the escalatory policy adopted by the Israeli government in the occupied Palestinian territories,” it said, and “affirms that attempts to harm the religious and historical status of Al-Aqsa Mosque are not only an attack on the Palestinians, but also on millions of Muslims around the world”.
Jordan Summons Israeli Ambassador
Jordan’s foreign ministry spokesman Sinan Majali said Amman summoned the Israeli ambassador to “convey a protest message about the recklessness of the Israeli national security minister in storming the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
Jordan is the custodian of Al-Aqsa and other Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
UAE, Saudi Arabia ‘Strongly Condemns’
The UAE, which normalized ties with Israel in 2020, “strongly condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard by an Israeli minister”.
It comes despite the Emirati ambassador being photographed warmly embracing Ben-Gvir at a national day celebration last month.
And over the weekend, UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called Netanyahu to congratulate him on the formation of his new government and invited him to visit.
Saudi Arabia, home to the two holiest sites in Islam, condemned the “provocative practices” of Ben-Gvir.
‘A Provocative Act’
Turkey also condemned the far-right minister’s “provocative act” in a statement.
“We call on Israel to act responsibly to prevent such provocations that will violate the status and sanctity of holy places in Jerusalem and escalate tension in the region,” Ankara’s foreign ministry said.
The US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, said Washington “has made it clear to the Israeli government it opposes any steps that could harm the status quo in the holy sites”.
The intrusion was also criticized by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)