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International seeks to cool down the ‘pan of fire’

Yesterday (April 21) continued fighting between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza Strip – the strongest escalation in many months due to a resurgence of violence around the Al-Aqsa temple complex in Jerusalem.

Early on April 21, Israel launched an air strike in central Gaza, just hours after a rocket was fired from Gaza into the south of the country. This was the first rocket fire at Israel since January. The Israeli military confirmed it had attacked an underground rocket factory in Gaza. Palestine then responded with four rockets.

These violent developments come amid an escalation of tensions in Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa temple complex, which Israelis call the Temple Mount – a sacred site of worship for both Muslims and Jews. .

Israel-Palestinian tensions escalate: International seeks to cool down the 'pan of fire' - 1

Israeli security forces stand guard around the Al-Aqsa temple complex in Jerusalem on April 15, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

In an effort to de-escalate the situation, the Arab League (AL) has just called on Israel to stop allowing Jews to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque complex. The Arab League said that while Israel has been restricting the right of Muslims to worship in Jerusalem’s Old City, ultra-nationalist Jews protected by police are allowed to enter places of worship. The third holiest of Muslims, after Mecca and Medina, right during the stressful peak of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The Arab League statement said that Al-Aqsa and Haram al Sharif, and all the places involved, are places where only Muslims can worship. Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi of Jordan – the country that organized an emergency meeting between foreign ministers of the Arab League countries emphasized:

“We focus on three priorities. First, prevent the situation from escalating in the last days of Ramadan. The history and legality of the mosque sites should be respected. Second, after the holy month of Ramadan, we need to be assured that what has happened will not happen again. The assault on the history and jurisprudence of the Al-Aqsa shrine complex must stop. And finally, the situation in the Palestinian territories should improve and bring the parties back to the negotiating table with a two-state solution.”

Yesterday (April 21), the US State Department delegation met with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah in an effort to ease tensions between Israel and Palestine. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that Israel must bear full responsibility for actions that escalate tensions, and asked the US to intervene soon.

The US State Department delegation also previously had meetings with Israeli leaders. Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid affirmed that Israel’s position in this challenging period is to keep the Temple Mount as it is. The Israeli side is also said to be working to ensure the freedom of worship of all religions in Jerusalem.

The recent escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa temple complex prompted the United Nations Security Council earlier this week to also convene an emergency meeting. The United Nations Special Envoy for the Middle East called on both sides to avoid provocative actions that would escalate tensions.

Meanwhile, five European countries including Ireland, France, Estonia, Norway and Albania recently issued a joint statement, emphasizing the need to stop acts of violence immediately and prevent casualties. civilians, fully respecting the status quo of sacred sites.

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