After a night of violence in occupied East Jerusalem, both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia criticized Israel’s decision to evict Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers.
The attack on Islam’s third holiest site and around East Jerusalem, which injured 205 Palestinians and 17 police officers, came amid mounting anger over the planned evictions.
“Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s plans and measures to evict dozens of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and impose Israeli sovereignty over them,” the kingdom’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement as reported by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya.
The UAE, which normalized relations with Israel last year, “strongly condemned” the attacks and the potential evictions, in a statement by the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalifa al-Marar, and urged Israeli authorities to reduce tensions.
“The UAE urged the need for Israeli authorities to assume their responsibilities in line with international law to provide necessary protection to Palestinian citizens,” the statement, carried by state news agency WAM, read.
The UAE and Israel agreed to normalize ties last year as part of a United States-brokered agreement.
In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia and met its crown prince, in the first publicly confirmed visit there by an Israeli leader.
Saturday, the European Union urged authorities to quickly calm tensions, condemning violence following Israeli police officers raiding and attacking Palestinian worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Turkey also condemned Israeli police for raiding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and attacking Muslim worshippers with stun grenades.
Russia Saturday condemned attacks on civilians by Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and urged both sides to refrain from escalating violence.
“This development of events is perceived with deep concern in Moscow. We strongly condemn attacks against civilians,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding, “We call on all parties to refrain from any steps fraught with the escalation of violence.”
Turkish Cyprus condemns raids
The parliament speaker of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Saturday denounced Israel’s aggression in occupied East Jerusalem.
“I condemn the attack by Israeli security forces on hundreds of civilians who were worshipping at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the final Friday of Ramadan,” Önder Sennaroğlu said in a message on social media.
He also wished a swift recovery to Turgut Alp Yılmaz, Middle East news editor for Anadolu Agency (AA), who was injured in the violence.
According to the Palestine Red Crescent, at least 205 people have been injured in the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods.
Tensions have run high in the Sheikh Jarrah area all through the week as Israeli settlers have swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.