Middle East

Meeting on latest Israeli-Palestinian escalations postponed to Thursday: Arab League

The Arab League postponed its “urgent meeting” of foreign ministers to discuss the ongoing clashes in Palestine from Wednesday to Thursday, according to an Arab League statement.

In the official statement on Sunday, Arab League spokesperson Mahmoud Afifi explained the meeting was postponed to ensure the largest number of ministers could participate.

The meeting was requested by Jordan in response to the latest deadly violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the past week.

A meeting by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss recent Israeli escalations against Palestinians is set to be held next week, the statement added.

On Friday, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and closed it entirely for Friday prayers, citing security concerns.

The closure of Al-Aqsa for Friday prayers, the first such move since Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967, triggered clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops.

Arab League chief Ahmed Abo El- Gheit said the Israeli government is “playing with fire and causing a major crisis with the Arab and Islamic world.”

Jerusalem is a “red line” and Arabs and Muslims will not accept such violations by Israeli occupation forces, he said in a statement on Sunday.

Abo El-Gheit added that the current measures “have nothing to do with security, ” and that security considerations are not the real motive behind the recent Israeli actions in Jerusalem’s Old City and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa.”

“What is happening today, unfortunately, is the completion of the project to Judaicise the Holy City and take over the old town,” Abu El-Gheit added.

On Friday, Egypt called on Israel to stop the violence against Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque site and in Jerusalem. Egypt urged Israel to not only halt violence but the heightened security measures against Palestinians in Jerusalem as well, after three Palestinians were killed in clashes with occupation forces at the mosque.

Cairo expressed its “deep concerns” about the repercussions of such an escalation as well as its distress over the deaths and injuries of civilians due to the use of excessive force.

On Saturday, three Palestinians were killed and more than 200 were injured when occupation forces attacked worshippers outside the mosque following Friday prayers.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting on Monday after Egypt, France and Sweden called for one to “urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported.”

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