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Arab League condemns Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Cairo: The Arab League (AL) on Wednesday condemned Israel for raiding the flashpoint holy site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

In a statement released after an urgent meeting held in Cairo on Wednesday, the pan-Arab body held Israel fully responsible for the consequences of the escalation that would threaten peace and security in the region, urging the international community to protect the Palestinian people and their right to freedom of worship.

Early on Wednesday, Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews, and clashed with dozens of Palestinian worshippers inside. At least 12 were injured during the clashes. Israeli police said they stormed the compound because Palestinians had brought fireworks, sticks, and rocks and barricaded themselves inside the mosque.

During the AL meeting, which was called for by Jordan, Palestine and Egypt, an Arab consensus was reached to “condemn the crimes of the occupation forces against worshipers in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and categorically reject the Israeli violations that aim to change the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and its sanctity,” according to the AL statement.

In an earlier statement, AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit strongly condemned the Israeli raids and called on the international community “to act quickly in order to stop Israel’s dangerous escalation, which threatens to ignite the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Also on Wednesday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry voiced its strong rejection of the Israeli escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli police’s “blatant attacks” on Palestinian worshippers.

“Egypt held Israel responsible for such dangerous escalation, which would undermine the truce efforts that Egypt is engaging in with its regional and international partners,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the Israeli raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

The ministry called on the international community to “assume its responsibilities by stopping these attacks and holding the Israeli government responsible for the crimes it is committing and their consequences.”

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