Palestinians, Arab States Condemn Israel for Ramadan Escalation in Jerusalem

Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority say Israel bears responsibility for the escalation in Jerusalem and calls on them to stop any measures barring Muslim worshipers from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Israeli army and police forces securing Jaffa st. in Jerusalem, on Monday.
Israeli army and police forces securing Jaffa st. in Jerusalem, on Monday. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt decried the recent escalation in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Monday, claiming that Israel bears responsibility for the deteriorating situation during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

"The absence of a political horizon and the ongoing Israeli escalation against the Palestinians, including provocations such as Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's visit to the Damascus Gate as well as the aggression of the police and military will lead to an explosion not only in the Palestinian territories, but in the entire region," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas warned on Monday.

Abu Rudeineh said that Israel bears full responsibility for the escalation, and called the U.S. to stop sending contradictory messages to the Palestinians: "All the regional and international allegiances can't leave Palestinians out of the equation," Abu Rudeineh said, and added that ending the occupation and implementing the international community's decisions will bring calm and order to the region.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement decrying Israeli extremists' "provocative actions in Al-Aqsa compound." The ministry's spokesperson said that the mosque is a site of worship for Muslims only, and stressed the need to stop any measures barring worshipers from entering the holy compound in order to avoid further violence.

"The extremists' raids are in violation of the historical and legal status quo and the international law," the spokesperson said.

The Jordanian condemnation comes a day after Jordan's King Abdullah talked on the phone with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, urging him that Israel does its utmost to maintain calm during the holy month of Ramadan and condemning the recent wave of terror attacks.

Last year's Ramadan in Jerusalem was overshadowed by evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, clashes between Palestinians and Israelis and tensions over police crowd-control barriers in and around the Old City. These tensions culminated in the fighting between Hamas in Gaza and Israel in May 2021, along with riots in mixed Arab-Jewish cities. This year, Ramadan is coinciding with the Passover holiday, adding another source of strain.

On Monday, Maj. Gen. Bar-Zvi said that police believe that sealing off the West Bank is unnecessary and that Palestinian laborers from the West Bank should be permitted to go to their jobs inside Israel.

While some clashes have erupted between Israeli police forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem on Saturday and Sunday, police have showed relative restraint compared to the same period last year by keeping distance from the Damascus Gate and not placing barriers on the surrounding stairs, in an attempt to ease tensions.

On Sunday, Egypt's Foreign Ministry was first to release a statement on Sunday condemning what it called an Israeli escalation in the Palestinian territories over the past days, the continued infiltration into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by settlers assisted by police and the continued harming of Palestinians.

This came after far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount on Thursday, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located with the approval of the Jerusalem police. He was banned from visiting the site – where Jews are only permitted to enter accompanied by police officers – on account that his visit was liable to incite riots.

Tensions are boiling over in since a recent wave of fatal terror attacks in Israel, which have left 11 dead, and the military's ongoing raids and arrests in the West Bank.

Over the weekend, four Palestinians were killed in raids in the West Bank, with Israel alleging that three of them in Jenin were en route to carry out terror attacks and the fourth in Hebron threw a firebomb toward them.

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