• Embassy says it strongly condemns what it termed as “the systematic attempts to change the historical and legal status quo in the mosque and divide it temporally and spatially”.
• The mission also welcomed the condemnation of “daily crimes” committed by Israel by Arab states.
The Embassy of Palestine to Kenya has condemned Israeli crimes and violations against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In a statement to media houses on Thursday, the embassy said it strongly condemns what it termed as “the systematic attempts to change the historical and legal status quo in the mosque and divide it temporally and spatially”.
The mission also welcomed Arab states' condemnation of “daily crimes” committed by Israel.
“The Embassy of the State of Palestine to Kenya welcomes the undisputed Arab consensus as reflected in their strong statements in condemning the daily crimes committed by the occupation in all of Palestine, particularly in the city of Jerusalem.
“This consensus confirms the centrality of the Palestinian issue and its pivotal role in achieving security and stability in the region,” the statement said in part.
The embassy further said that Palestine emphasizes the right of Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizens to secure and unrestricted access to their places of worship to perform their religious duties freely and safely.
“In this regard, we reiterate that Israel, the occupying power, bears full responsibility for the consequences of its blatant crimes and violations of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law, and international humanitarian law, as these crimes portend the outbreak of a spiral of violence that threatens security and stability in the region,” it said.
The Arab League on Wednesday condemned Israel for raiding the al Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem after a meeting in Cairo, Egypt.
The meeting was called by Jordan, Egypt and Palestine.
The regional organisation said it holds Israel fully responsible for the consequences of the escalation of hostilities, which it noted would threaten peace and security in the region.
It called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people and their right to freedom of worship.
International media reported that Israeli police attacked worshippers in the al Aqsa Mosque compound overnight on Wednesday, during the holy month of Ramadan.
“The raids continued into the morning when Israeli forces were once again seen assaulting and pushing Palestinians out of the compound and preventing them from praying – before Israelis were allowed in under police protection,” Al Jazeera reported.
An Israeli police statement quoted by CNN said its forces entered the mosque after “hundreds of rioters and mosque desecrators (had) barricaded themselves” inside.
“When the police entered, stones were thrown at them, and fireworks were fired from inside the mosque by a large group of agitators,” the statement said.
Israeli Foreign Ministry on Wednesday made a claim of extreme and violent people incited by terrorist elements actively trying to initiate “a dangerous escalation”.
“This dangerous escalation could ignite the entire region while simultaneously putting many lives at risk and desecrating the sanctity of the holy places and the holidays. As can be clearly seen, this violence has been organized and planned well in advance. The Israeli authorities will not permit any disruption of public order and will resolutely preserve freedom of worship and the holiday’s character,” the ministry said in a statement.
Egypt on Friday called on all parties to exercise maximum self-restraint and heed the efforts undertaken to de-escalate the situation to avoid bloodshed and protect lives after Israel exchanged strikes with Palestinian militants in Gaza and Lebanon over the past 48 hours.
Through a statement by Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt said it was deeply concerned over the rapid and dangerous escalation in the region, which it said started with the raid by Israeli forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US was "extremely concerned by the continuing violence and we urge all sides to avoid further escalation".
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Friday echoed the same, urging all parties to de-escalate following the hostilities.
"Now is the time for all parties across the region to de-escalate tensions," he said, condemning rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and southern Lebanon, and noting London recognize "Israel's right to self-defence".
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres through spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said he was "appalled" by the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, his spokesman said Wednesday.
“Guterres is shocked and appalled by the images he saw this morning of the violence and beating by Israeli security forces inside the 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.