Israel’s attacks continue and Al-Aqsa Mosque without prayer for the tenth day in a row
:: For the 10th day in a row, the Palestinians have not been able to hold prayers inside Al Aqsa mosque. In protest of the Israeli occupation forces installing electronic gates outside, Palestinians held their prayers in the vicinity of the sacred monument.
At the same time, protests are escalating in various parts of the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli occupation forces have moved into al-Bireh and wounded four Palestinians in Bir Zeit. The Israeli army announced that it will maintain the electronic gates in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa despite Palestinian protests and international demands.
The tension in Jerusalem coincides with the arrival of the US envoy to the Middle East peace process Jason Greenblatt in Tel Aviv to discuss developments and push for an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians under Jordanian supervision.
The UN envoy warned that the issue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque could have “a catastrophic cost beyond the walls of the old city,” calling for a solution to the Al-Aqsa Mosque before Friday so as not to escalate the situation.
For its part, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is holding an emergency meeting in Jeddah to discuss Israel’s violations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The UN Security Council is meeting tonight to discuss developments in the situation at the invitation of France, Egypt and Sweden.
In the same context, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the need to stop coordinating with Israel until it repeals the decision to set up electronic gates.
According to Reuters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a close security meeting with the Council of Ministers; meanwhile the right-wing government is afraid to look like it is surrendering to Palestinian pressure.
An Israeli minister told the Army Radio that the e-gates will remain, adding that if the Palestinians do not want to enter the mosque then it will be on them.
On the ground, the Israeli army closed the road between Ramallah and the northern West Bank, shooting at demonstrators and injuring several of them.
Birzeit University students demonstrated at the northern entrance of Ramallah, near the settlement and El Beit checkpoint.