An independent human rights group has expressed great concern over the brutal attacks on Palestinian worshippers by Israeli forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds, calling for an immediate end to Israeli violations in the occupied holy city.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor made the remarks in a statement on Monday, following the current surge of violence in Jerusalem al-Quds, particularly on the holy al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, as well as in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds, where some 28 Palestinian families face the threat of forceful eviction from their homes.
“For more than a week, the Israeli forces have carried out systematic attacks on Palestinians in East Jerusalem [al-Quds], especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which is threatened with eviction. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured with rubber bullets and teargas canisters or by severe beatings at the hands of the Israeli forces who also arrested other Palestinians,” the Geneva-based rights monitor said.
The rights monitor further noted that Israel's escalation of attacks in Jerusalem al-Quds is part of a long-term policy to change the city’s status quo, displace the Palestinian population and replace them with Israeli settlers.
It also urged the UN Security Council to take firm action against Israeli acts of aggression in the holy occupied city and to protect the freedom of worship of the Palestinian people.
“The Security Council, in its meeting later today, should discuss the situation in Jerusalem [al-Quds] and take a decisive position that protects the Muslims’ rights to freedom of worship, condemns Israel’s violent attacks on Palestinians, and affirms the necessity for Israel to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem [al-Quds] and stop their prejudice against the religious status of Islamic holy sites in the city,” it said.
The latest development comes as hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded in the latest bout of violence as Israeli security forces opened fire in a fresh assault on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound at dawn.
The Israeli forces abducted several of the wounded while paramedics were trying to transport them from inside al-Aqsa Mosque to nearby hospitals for treatment. One paramedic was severely beaten while on duty by Israeli forces.
Based on some media reports, a number of wounded Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces outside the Lions' Gate as they attempted to flee the crackdown.
The attack is an escalation of weeks of violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds that has reverberated across the region.
Al-Aqsa Mosque and Bab al-Amoud (Damascus) Gate in Jerusalem al-Quds' Old City as well as the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood have witnessed a spike in Israeli atrocities in recent weeks.
The latest rounds of Israeli aggression have drawn a wave of condemnations from across the globe.
Palestinian PM condemns Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has strongly condemned today’s Israeli assault against worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, warning that this action may have serious repercussions.
The Palestinian premier made the remarks in the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, stressing that he holds the Israeli regime responsible for the recent events in Jerusalem al-Quds.
“We condemn the Israeli occupation forces' incursion into al-Aqsa Mosque at dawn this morning and the injury of dozens of worshippers in preparation for the storming of the extreme [Israeli] right wing groups of its courtyards. I hold the Israeli government fully responsible for what happened to the worshippers in the al-Aqsa Mosque," he said.
Shtayyeh further warned of the consequences of these assaults as well as attempts to evict Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in order to replace them with Israeli settlers.
He also called on the international community to immediately intervene to stop these horrendous violations and to provide protection to Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories, particularly in Jerusalem al-Quds, which is facing ethnic cleansing.
Since the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Israeli forces and illegal settlers have been roaming the city, chanting anti-Palestinian slogans and trying to prevent Palestinians from gathering and performing their religious duties.
Early in the month, the Israeli regime also shut down Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) of the al-Quds' Old City, further enraging Palestinians.
The provocations took a dangerous turn after the forces attacked Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories since.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Palestinians view the eastern sector of the occupied city as the capital of their future state.