West News Wire: The brutal attack on Palestinian worshipers who were fasting during the sacred month of Ramadan and the most recent Israeli aggression against the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of al-Quds have both drawn vehement condemnation from the Arab League.
The 22-member group convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the conditions surrounding the Israeli regime forces’ most recent invasion of the Muslim holy site and their violent raid against Palestinians who were there to observe Ramadan rituals.
The Arab League Ministerial Council issued a statement saying, “We strongly condemn the crimes of the occupiers against defenseless worshipers in al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“We vehemently condemn any infringement on, and assault on, Islamic and Christian holy sites by the Zionist occupation regime.”
The Council affirmed the right of Muslims and Christians to have safe and unrestricted access to their places of worship and to freely preach and practice their religious beliefs.
Holding Israel responsible for the crimes and measures that undermine freedom of worship in Islamic and Christian holy sites in the occupied al-Quds, the Arab League Ministerial Council said such actions constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions, international law and international humanitarian law.
“These attacks and crimes are a flagrant provocation to the feelings of believers everywhere, and threaten to ignite a spiral of violence that threatens security and stability in the region and the world,” the Council warned.
The Council called on the member states to take the necessary steps and measures at all levels, including launching an intensive diplomatic move, in order to protect the city of al-Quds, defend its Islamic and Christian sanctities, and support the political, social, economic and human rights of its people.
It also praised the “steadfastness” of Palestinians in the occupied city of al-Quds for defending al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites in the face of the Israeli occupation forces’ crimes and systematic brutal attacks.
Earlier on Wednesday, the secretary-general of the League of Arab, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, condemned the Israeli forces’ storming of al-Aqsa Mosque, calling on the international community to compel Israel to stop what he described as the dangerous escalation on the ground in the occupied territories.
Aboul Gheit said in a statement that such irresponsible actions in the holy places affect the religious feelings of millions of Muslims around the world.
Aboul Gheit called on the international community to act quickly to force Israel to stop this dangerous escalation, which threatens to ignite the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
He also called on the Israeli regime to stop these provocative actions, warning against the consequences of exporting the internal political crisis in Israel to the Palestinian people.
Dozens of heavily armed Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday night before firing tear gas and stun grenades into the Qibli prayer hall, where hundreds of men, women, elderly people and children were staying overnight to pray. Some eyewitnesses said rubber-coated steel bullets were also fired.
Then, before arresting the worshippers, Israeli police beat them with batons and riot guns, inflicting numerous injuries.
Israeli police repeatedly bashed people with batons while they looked to be lying on the ground, as seen in videos taken from inside the mosque. The cries of women and children for assistance could be heard in the background during this time.
The Israeli government has placed severe limitations on Palestinians’ access to and departure from the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque ever since the beginning of the holy month. Israeli settlers continue their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the sacred site despite the escalating hostilities with Palestinian worshipers.