Saudi Arabia, UAE condemn storming of Al-Aqsa courtyard
The compound is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina and Judaism’s most sacred site
By News Desk - January 04 2023

Itamar Ben Gvir addressing his supporters after the exit polls on 1 November 2022 (Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel via Flash90)

The Gulf states strongly condemned the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque’s courtyard by Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, on 3 December and warned against the consequences of this “unilateral measure,” reported Al-Arabiya news.

The Arab League, which includes 22 member states, held the government of the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responsible for “the consequences of these extreme right-wing practices and plans and their repercussions on Palestine, the region and world peace, including the possibility of unleashing a religious war.”

The Secretary General of the League, Ahmed Abulgheit, stressed  that the storming “comes in the context of the beginning of the implementation of the extremist program and the settlement agenda of the Netanyahu government, with all that this program implies in terms of inflaming the situation in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories in a very dangerous way,” reported by WAFA news agency.

A similar position was expressed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with 57 member states, which condemned Ben Gvir’s “provocation” in another statement and urged the international community to “put an end to such Israeli violations that would fuel religious conflict, extremism, and instability.”

Ben Gvir’s storming was also condemned by the UAE and Egypt, as well as Saudi Arabia, a country with which Netanyahu aspires to reach an understanding similar to those signed two years ago with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns these provocative practices,” which “hinder international efforts for peace”, said a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s foreign ministry reiterated the importance of providing “full protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque and ending dangerous and provocative violations there.”

In a separate statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed its “total rejection of any unilateral measures” and warned against “the negative repercussions of such measures on security and stability in the occupied territories and the region, and on the future of the peace process.”

The National Security Minister of Israel’s new government, Itamar Ben Gvir, followed up on his recently announced plans to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, barging into the holy site on 3 January accompanied by a large protection force of occupation troops.

According to Israeli media reports, Ben Gvir went ahead with the planned incursion despite several stern warnings by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which were relayed to Tel Aviv through Egyptian and UN mediators a day earlier.

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