Palestine has slammed the Israeli police for its actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Monday. Officials condemned the storming of the mosque and the use of rubber bullets and tear gas on worshippers at Islam's third holiest site in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority blamed the Israeli occupation government for the escalation through its incursion. Israeli police fired at Muslim worshippers to disperse them as a group of Jewish visitors arrived in the area. The Palestinian Authority said the actions of the police were a provocative and serious threat to security and stability.
Israeli police said they were only responding to provocations from some youths that began to throw stones at them and at the Temple Mount esplanade. Officials said the police were there to monitor and regulate Jewish visits to the compound, which is holy to both religions.
The compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque is known to Muslims as the al-Haram al-Sharif, while it is referred to by the Jews as the Temple Mount. The clash between the Israeli police and the worshippers occurred just two days before the Eid al-Adha and on the eve of the Hajj pilgrimage.
The day of the incident also marked the Jewish festival of Tisha B'Av, which typically sees an increase in Israeli visitors to the compound.
Scores of settlers backed by Israeli forces broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning, injuring dozens of worshippers and detaining several others. pic.twitter.com/xnMx9KKn5u — Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) July 18, 2021
Jordan's Islamic Waqf condemned the "violations and attacks" perpetrated by "Jewish fanatic groups." The administrators of the holy sites in the compound said in a post on the Palestinian website Wafa that Israel was "aiming for a religious war."
"The Israeli actions against the mosque are rejected and condemned, and represent a violation of the historical and legal status quo, international law and Israel's obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem," Daifallah Al-Fayez, a representative of Jordan's foreign ministry, said.
Based on an unwritten arrangement established during the Ottoman Empire era, Muslims are the only ones allowed to pray at the holy site, while non-Muslims are only permitted to visit as tourists. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Jewish visits will continue and their freedom to worship will be protected.
The EU delegation to the Palestinian territories said in a post on social media that it was concerned about the rising tensions in the region. The delegation called on all parties to respect the site's status quo. They also called on religious and community leaders to help "calm down this explosive situation."