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Palestinian Foreign Ministry slams rising Israeli violence against civilians, holy sites

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Photo by Wafa news agency)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has censured the latest escalation of violence by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers against Palestinian civilians and their holy sites.

In a press statement cited by the official WAFA news agency on Sunday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the recent attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers and settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including their latest against the defenseless Palestinian civilians in the cities of Nablus and Ramallah.

The statement held the extremist cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “fully and directly responsible” for the rising violence and its “dangerous repercussions” on the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The low level and weak international reaction and positions toward settlers’ crimes and attacks and failure to implement the United Nations resolutions related to the Palestinian issue perpetuate the occupation, deepen the apartheid regime, and encourage extremist settler terrorist organizations to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people,” the ministry said.

The statement stressed that the protection provided by certain major countries to the occupation regime secures its persistent impunity deepens the injustice and oppression inflicted upon the Palestinian people and the appropriation of more land for the benefit of settlement expansion.

It also said the pro-Israel protection undermines any chance for the establishment of a Palestinian state with al-Quds as its capital.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club announced in a statement on Tuesday that Israeli forces had arrested more than 5,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the year.

The Israeli oppression of Palestinians has witnessed a sharp rise under Netanyahu’s hardline coalition cabinet, which is composed of far-right Zionist parties that oppose Palestinian statehood and support the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied lands.

Over the past months, Israel has intensified attacks against Palestinian towns. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.

According to the United Nations, 2023 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since it began recording fatalities in 2005. The previous year, 2022, had been the most lethal year with 150 Palestinians killed, of whom 33 were minors, as reported by the United Nations.

Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa mosque compound again

In a separate development on Sunday, scores of Israeli settlers intruded into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds.

Under heavy protection by the regime forces, some 100 settlers entered the courtyards of the holy site through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, and provocatively performed rituals and Talmudic prayers there.

The occupation regime had since morning deployed soldiers inside and around the mosque to secure the intrusion, preventing Palestinian worshipers from entering the sacred site.

Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds, leading to daily confrontations with Palestinians at the mosque, with many injured, arrested and killed.

Non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited according to an agreement between Israel and Jordan following the regime’s seizure of East al-Quds in 1967.

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