UN chief shocked by Israeli violence in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

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Israeli security forces remove Palestinian Muslim worshippers sitting on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, early on April 5, 2023 during Islam's holy month of Ramadan. - Israeli police said they had entered to dislodge "agitators", a move denounced as an "unprecedented crime" by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. The holy Muslim site is built on top of what Jews call the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was shocked and appalled by Israeli violence in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem early Wednesday, said his spokesman.

“The secretary-general is shocked and appalled by the images he saw this morning of the violence and beating by Israeli security forces inside the al-Qibli mosque in Jerusalem,” said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, using another name of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“At a time of the calendar which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, this should be a time for peace and not violence. Places of worship should only be used for peaceful religious observances,” said the spokesman.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland issued a statement earlier on Wednesday, saying that he was appalled by the images of violence inside the mosque.

“I am disturbed by the apparent beating of Palestinians by Israeli security forces and a large number of arrests. I also strongly reject the stockpiling and use of fireworks and rocks by Palestinians inside the mosque,” said Wennesland.

He called on political, religious and community leaders on all sides to reject incitement, inflammatory rhetoric, and provocative actions. He also called on leaders on all sides to act responsibly and refrain from steps that could escalate tensions.

Dujarric, the UN spokesman, said the United Nations and humanitarian partners stand ready to help ensure the restoration of medical services as soon as possible at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The health clinic at the compound had to close as it was severely damaged after Israeli forces used it to enter the mosque, he said.

On Tuesday, Israeli forces stormed Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City and savagely attacked Palestinian worshipers with batons and gun butts on Tuesday night.

Viral videos show armed Israeli forces beating worshippers inside the mosque and smashing windows, as women and children cry for help.

Egypt condemned in the strongest terms, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday, the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli police and the accompanying blatant attacks that led to numerous injuries among worshipers, including women, in violation of all international laws and norms.

Egypt considered that such abhorrent and deplorable scenes, and the repeated Israeli violations of the sanctity of holy places, fuel the feelings of anger of all the Palestinian people, Islamic peoples and conscientious people around the world, calling on the Israeli authorities to immediately stop these aggressions that terrorize the worshipers who took Baitullah(the mosque) as a safe house during the holy month of Ramadan.

Egypt held Israel, the occupying power, responsible for this dangerous escalation that would undermine the truce efforts being engaged by Egypt with its regional and international partners, demanding that the international community bear its responsibility to put an end to these attacks and spare the region from further factors of instability and tension.

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