World Bulletin/News Desk
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said Wednesday that it would resort to the UN Security Council (UNSC) over recent Israeli "escalations" in Jerusalem and the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
In a statement, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, accused the Israeli government of carrying out "systematic violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and facilitating the entry of Jewish settlers into the mosque compound in breach of international law."
By these escalations, he asserted, the Israeli government was seeking to divide the holy site into two sections – a move he described as a "red line" for the Arab and Muslim peoples.
Earlier in the day, a group of Jewish settlers forced their way into the mosque compound after Israeli police stormed the holy site and fired on Muslim worshippers, according to a Palestinian mosque guard.
Wednesday's violence came amid calls by extremist Jewish groups to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark the passage of one week since extremist rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot and injured by a Palestinian man in Jerusalem.
Tension has mounted in occupied East Jerusalem since Israel closed the Al-Aqsa on Thursday following the attack on Glick.
Israeli authorities reopened the mosque compound on Friday following a day of violent clashes with Palestinian protesters, but barred male Muslim worshippers under 50 years old from entering the site.
The PA's Abbas, for his part, warned that the closure of the Al-Aqsa constituted a "declaration of war" on the Palestinian people and their sacred places.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2014, 15:45