OIC to discuss Israel’s attacks on worshippers at Al-Aqsa
Muslim states in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet on Monday to discuss ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Saudi Arabia-based body will discuss the violations in occupied East Jerusalem at the request of the Republic of Indonesia, according to the Palestinian Authority’s news agency Wafa.
It comes after repeated Israeli attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including at Al-Aqsa – the third holiest site in Islam.
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha has condemned Israeli attempts to stop Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa throughout the incursions.
He called on the international community to stop Israel from carrying out the attacks, saying it is essential to protect the historical and legal status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque as a place of worship for Muslims.
Al-Aqsa, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, has seen weekly incursions by Israeli settlers and far-right extremists who want to build a temple on the site, under Israeli military protection.
Muslims usually attend the mosque in increasing numbers during the final 10 days of Ramadan. An Israeli official said that Jews will be prevented from entering the site at this time due to the tensions.
Palestinians accuse Israel of attacking worshippers and allowing Jewish extremists to enter the mosque compound on a regular basis.
On Friday, a holy day in Islam, dozens of Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces.
Witnesses said police stormed the compound after the morning prayers and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at a crowd of about 200 Palestinians.
Israeli police fired rubber bullets at a group of journalists documenting the raid, with a photographer, Ali Yassin, shot in the throat.
The United Nations has demanded a probe into the Israeli police actions at the site.
“We are deeply concerned by the escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the past month,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The use of force by Israeli police resulting in widespread injuries among worshippers and staff in and around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound must be promptly, impartially, independently and transparently investigated.”
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