Pakistan condemns Ramazan violence against Palestinians by 'Israeli occupation force'

Published April 26, 2021
Palestinians run away as a stun grenade fired by Israeli police explodes during clashes at Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City during Ramazan. — Reuters
Palestinians run away as a stun grenade fired by Israeli police explodes during clashes at Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City during Ramazan. — Reuters

Pakistan on Monday viewed the "alarming developments" in occupied Palestinian territories with "serious concern" and condemned Israeli violence during the month of Ramazan, according to a statement from the Foreign Office (FO).

"Pakistan views the recent alarming developments in the occupied Palestinian territories with serious concern.

"These include harassment of people coming for prayers, arrests of innocent Palestinians and other arbitrary restrictions in violation of fundamental human rights," said the FO, adding that the "illegal measures" had seen an upsurge since the start of the month of Ramazan.

The statement said "Pakistan condemns these violent acts carried out by the Israeli occupation forces" and called upon the international community to take immediate action to protect Palestinians.

"Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination.

For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al Quds Al Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State," read the FO statement.

Ramazan dispute

The Palestinian clashes with Israeli police began with the start of Ramazan, on April 13. Palestinians say police have tried to prevent them from holding their usual Ramazan evening gatherings outside Damascus Gate.

Police say the measure is part of efforts to ensure Muslims can safely get to the main prayer site.

"Palestinians love to relax in this area after evening prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque, but the occupation (Israel) doesn't like it. It's a matter of sovereignty," said Jerusalem resident Mohammad Abu Al-Homus.

Clashes and other violent incidents between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem have occurred nightly since the start of Ramazan and have laid bare simmering tensions in the holy city.

The incidents threaten to break a sustained period of relative quiet in a contested city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli police had made over 50 arrests and Palestinian medics said 100 were injured during clashes on April 22. From late Thursday night into early Friday, police in riot gear and on horseback had fought to keep apart two groups of protesters — Palestinian youth hurling firecrackers and setting fire to garbage bins, and ultra-nationalist Israelis chanting anti-Arab slogans.

In a statement in English, Hebrew and Arabic, the US Embassy had also said it was "deeply concerned" about the violence and had urged an end to incitement and a return to calm.

Al Aqsa Mosque is one of the most sensitive sites in the Middle East conflict. It sits atop the Old City plateau known to Muslims worldwide as Al Haram Al Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem, including the eastern sector captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital. Palestinians seek to make East Jerusalem, including its Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, capital of a future state.

Additional input by Reuters.



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