US ‘extremely concerned’ about violence at Al-Aqsa, urges ‘all sides’ to exercise restraint

Middle East Monitor  /  April 5, 2023

The US is “extremely concerned” about tensions around Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem and urged “all sides” to exercise restraint, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“We remain extremely concerned by the continuing violence, and we urge all sides to avoid further escalation,” White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters during a news conference.

“It’s imperative, now more than ever, that both Israelis and Palestinians work together to de-escalate this tension and to restore a sense of calm,” he added.

Asked why there was no US condemnation of the Israeli attack on Palestinian worshippers, Kirby responded by saying: “I think we have a very strong track record of speaking out against violence all around the world, and the death and injury caused to people of all faiths.”

His remarks came after tensions escalated when Israeli police detained around 350 worshipers from inside the complex.

A group of Palestinians barricaded themselves inside Al-Qibli Prayer Hall after Jewish settlers called for a raid on the Mosque. They attempted to prevent police from entering by closing its doors.


Germany expresses concern over Israel Al-Aqsa Mosque raids

Middle East Monitor  /  April 5, 2023

Germany’s Foreign Ministry, on Wednesday, expressed concern over the Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem, but refused to condemn the act, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Asked repeatedly at a press briefing whether he would explicitly condemn the Israeli actions, Ministry spokesperson, Christofer Burger, merely said that “last night’s riots on the Temple Mount, Haram Sharif, were of concern” to Germany.

He urged all sides to “do everything possible to calm down the situation,” saying the protection of civilians should always be the priority.

On the other hand, the German Central Council of Muslims denounced the Israeli raids and attacks on worshippers.

“We condemn any use of force and call on the Israeli security forces, together with the guardians of the Holy Place, to do everything possible to ensure that this tense situation does not escalate any further,” the Berlin-based group said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli police said they detained 350 Palestinians from  Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

A group of Palestinians barricaded themselves in the Al-Qibli Prayer Hall in the complex after Jewish settlers called for a raid on the Mosque.

Israeli forces and Jewish settlers frequently carry out raids on the Mosque.

In response, the Israeli police smashed windows and deployed flash charges, tear gas and rubber bullets against the worshippers.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents Islam’s third-holiest site, while Jews call the area Temple Mount.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognised by the international community.​​​​​​​