Middle East Monitor / April 5, 2023
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is “appalled” by the violence from Israeli forces against worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, his spokesman said Wednesday, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Guterres “is shocked and appalled by the images he saw this morning of the violence and beating by Israeli security forces inside Al-Qibli Mosque in Jerusalem at a time of the calendar which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims,” Stephane Dujarric said at a news conference.
“This should be a time for peace and non-violence,” he said.
Dujarric echoed a statement from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, who urged political, religious and community leaders on all sides to reject incitement, inflammatory rhetoric and provocative actions.
Wennesland said leaders should act responsibly and refrain from steps that could escalate tensions.
He stated the UN is in close contact with all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation.
Tension rose Wednesday in the Occupied West Bank after Israeli police detained around 350 worshipers from inside Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
A group of Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the prayer hall in the complex after Jewish settlers called for a raid on the Mosque. They attempted to prevent police from entering by closing its doors.
Surrounding the Al-Qibli Prayer Hall, Israeli police went up to the roof of the Mosque, smashed windows and initially used sound bombs against worshipers inside. Some in the Mosque tried to resist police by throwing fireworks.