08/12/2019, 10.02
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The Gulf monarchies condemn Israel for Temple Mount violence

Clashes between faithful and police started yesterday morning, during the Muslim festival of Sacrifice and the Jewish anniversary of Tisha B’Av.  Two arrests, dozens of Palestinians injured and 15 hospitalized.  After an initial ban, the police allowed Jews to enter the holy place.  The Israeli extreme right fuels tensions.


Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The wealthy Gulf monarchies are joining Jordan in the condemnation of Israel, held responsible for the clashes yesterday in the Temple Mount between Muslim faithful and Israeli police forces.  The violence, which caused two arrests, the wounding of dozens of Palestinians (15 of whom had to resort to hospital treatment), broke out on the occasion of the Islamic sacrifice festival (Eid Al Adha) and the Jewish anniversary of Tisha B '  Av.  On the day of mourning and fasting, the Jews commemorate the destruction of the first and second temple in Jerusalem.

Riyadh and Doha are fostering the resentment of the Muslim world against Israel, over its use of force towards the Palestinians at the al-Aqsa mosque, the Temple Mount for the Jews. The Saudi Foreign Ministry denounces "the Israeli occupation forces" that "attacked" the Muslim holy place and "attacked the faithful on the first day of Eid Al-Adha".

The leaders of the Saudi kingdom appeal to the international community to guarantee "protection" to the Palestinian people from Israel's "aggressive" policies that undermine the "rights" of the population.  A similar condemnation also comes from Qatar, which speaks of "Israeli aggression" on the sacred place, which should provoke a unanimous sentiment of condemnation from all nations in the world.

The clashes broke out around 9.30am yesterday morning, following the police decision - which initially blocked the accesses - to allow entry to the Esplanade of the Mosques even for the Jewish faithful despite the "high risk of clashes  ".  At least 600 Jews were able to cross the threshold of the Temple Mount in the morning and a second visit was scheduled lasting an hour.  Local sources report that police forces fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters after the faithful started throwing objects and shouting "nationalistic slogans".

A decision that the Jordanian authorities, who control the area through the Muslim Waqf foundation, criticized calling it a "blatant violation" by Israel of the Muslim holy place precisely in conjunction with the beginning of the Feast of the Sacrifice.  The opinion of many Israeli institutional and governmental figures was different, according to which access to the esplanade should not be prevented.

Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister of Public Security, had previously stated that the closure of the Temple Mount during Muslim holidays "is not part of the status quo" and that the decision must be evaluated from time to time, based on criteria regarding the  public order and security.  Starting from the large number of Muslim faithful who crowd the area for celebrations.  In recent years the campaign of pressure from Israeli right-wing activists and politicians on the police has grown, making it increasingly difficult to prevent access to Jews to the area during the Tisha B'Av party and the beginning of Eid  Al Adha.

For the radical Jewish movement United Right the closure of the Temple Mount is a "national disgrace".  Transport Minister Bezalel Smotrich attacks those who bow "to the terror and violence" of the Arabs in the "holiest place for the Jewish people" and which has triggered a "loss at the root of the power of deterrence" towards the Palestinians in many other fronts.

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