EU envoy calls for defusing tensions in E.Jerusalem

Insight Online News

Ramallah, July 19 : The European Union (EU) Representative in Palestine, Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff has urged the Israelis and Palestinians to defuse the mounting tension at the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

In a statement on Sunday, Burgsdorff expressedhis concerns about the continuing Israeli-Palestinian tension around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while calling for “avoiding incitement and respecting the status quo” by the two sides, reports Xinhua news agency.

He added that “the Israeli authorities, the religious and community leaders on all sides must act urgently to de-escalate this volatile situation”.

Burgsdorff’s remarks came in response to the violent clashes erupting earlier on Sunday between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The clashes broke out after Israeli police forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque, coinciding with the performance of the dawn prayer.

According to Palestinian media, the Israeli police fired stun grenades at the worshipers to force them to leave, so to facilitate the entry of hundreds of Jewish settlers to the mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate to the compound.

The settlers’ entry coincided with the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which usually occurs in July-August in the Georgian calendar.

The Jews believe it is the anniversary of the destruction of the two ancient Jerusalem temples.

Tension in East Jerusalem, especially at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, sparked the May 10-21 conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, during which 255 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.


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