Sisi condemns 'violations' at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque
Ahmad Gharabli (AFP/File)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday urged Israel to take swift measures to calm tensions around Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque after clashes this week between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.
"It is without doubt a dangerous violation of Islamic holy places," Sisi said at a press conference with EU president Donald Tusk, urging Israel to take "immediate and effective steps" to defuse tensions.
"The international community must realize the attachment of all Muslims to this place," he said, warning that the unrest could have "grave consequences for peace and stability".
The mosque, located at the site of what Jews venerate as the Temple Mount, is in east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
The mosque compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred site in Judaism.
Under longstanding regulations, Jews are allowed to visit but cannot pray there to avoid provoking tensions.
Palestinians fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, with far-right Jewish groups pushing for more access and even efforts by fringe organisations to erect a new temple.
Egypt shares a long border with Israel, and in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with it after four wars with the Jewish state.
Arab MKs to travel to Jordan
A delegation of five Israeli Arab MKs, including outspoken Ahmed Tibi, travelled to Jordan on Saturday in preparation for a meeting with King Abdullah II on the issue of Al-Aqsa.
The delegation, which is made up of lawmakers from the Joint Arab List, also includes Osama Saadia, Jamal Zahalka, Talab Abu Arar and Aida Touma-Suliman.
Under the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, Jordan is a custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
Abdullah warned Israel on Monday that any further "provocation" in Jerusalem would damage ties between the two countries.
"Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel" which have a 1994 peace accord but which has custodian rights over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, said Abdullah following clashes at the flashpoint holy site in east Jerusalem.
"Jordan will not have a choice but to take actions, unfortunately," he told journalists in English after talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The delegation of Israeli Arab MKs will also travel to Istanbul to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently with a Palestinian delegation that included the head of the northern branch of the Islamic movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, and the former mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri.
On Monday Israel's Knesset will convene for a special session on how to deal with the violence in Jerusalem.
Israel arrests Palestinians after stone throwing
Israeli police arrested seven Palestinians, including five youths, in another day of violence Saturday sparked by tensions over Al-Aqsa.
The arrests took place in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Issawiya, on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus, after young demonstrators threw rocks at police, a statement said.
Overnight, three police were injured when a firebomb struck their van in the Jabal Mukaber district and eight Palestinians were arrested, including at least three youths.
It came after four days of clashes this week, including Friday, when a rocket fired from in the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza struck a parked bus in the southern Israeli town of Sderot without causing casualties.
Subsequently, Israel bombed a training camp of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed branch.
There were no casualties.
Israel fears further trouble ahead when the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha coincides Wednesday with the solemn Jewish fast of Yom Kippur.
Video of PA forces beating Palestinian man goes viral
A video showing Palestinian Authority security troops using force against Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem has caused outrage among Palestinians in the area.
The video sparked uproar among residents who claimed that the PA forces used excessive force against its own citizens during the rally in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The video, which has been viewed over 35,000 times, shows PA security officers violently attacking a teenage boy with clubs during the clashes at the Azza Refugee Camp in the Palestinian West Bank town.
Adnan Dmeiri, a PA security forces spokesman, said the attack “completely unacceptable as it is against Palestinian laws,” according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
“Appropriate punishment will be taken against all officers who used violence against Palestinian citizens,” Dmeiri told Ma'an.
"Two weeks ago there was a big and very violent fight between families here," a resident of Bethlehem told Israeli news website Ynet. "We didn’t see such a dedicated response to end that fight, like the actions we saw yesterday, when they beat the poor young man."
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Disgusting thuggery.... what kind of people desire to work in thuggery?