Arab countries blame Israel for Palestinian violence in Jerusalem

Israel must “end all attacks,” they said, as Arabs rioted in the city.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

All the “friendly” Arab countries who have signed accords with Israel condemned the Jewish State by Saturday despite the fact that Arabs initiated rioting in Jerusalem over the weekend.

Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain have all criticized Israel for bringing security forces up to the Temple Mount Friday night after Moslem worshipers instigated the clashes by throwing rocks, chairs and bottles at the security forces.

This is the second time that the UAE has put the onus on Israel after the violence began in conjunction with the start of Ramadan in mid-April. It “strongly condemned” the clashes Friday night between police and Arabs in the Old City that injured some 200 Palestinians and 17 police officers.

Although 80,000 Moslems had been freely allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, Foreign Minister Khalifa al-Marar said that the police had “stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” No mention was made of the worshipers’ unprovoked violence.

There was a “need for Israeli authorities to assume their responsibilities – in line with international law – to provide necessary protection to Palestinian civilians’ right to practice their religion, and to prevent practices that violate the sanctity of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Marar said in an official statement carried on the Emirates’ news agency.

He also called on Israel to “take responsibility for the de-escalation, to end all attacks and practices that lead to continued tension.”

Bahrain echoed the harsh criticism, issuing a “strong condemnation” of Israel and calling the authorities’ actions a “provocation against the people of Jerusalem.” It demanded that Israel “work to prevent its forces from attacking worshipers in this holy month.”

Both Gulf countries also referred to the eastern Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah (Shimon HaTzaddik) neighborhood, where the courts have upheld the rights of Jewish owners to retake homes they owned prior to 1948 but which were settled by Arab squatters. They have refused a compromise whereby they pay rent to the owners and therefore face eviction. Israel’s Supreme Court will decide the case in the coming days.

Arabs have begun rioting in Sheikh Jarrah in an attempt to bully the authorities into backing off. Without mentioning the legal dispute, the Gulf states denounced the “displacement of Palestinian families” from the area, as the UAE put it.

The one-sided condemnations have been repeated by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan even tweeting in Hebrew, “We sharply condemn the disgusting attacks of Israel on the al-Aqsa Mosque, that take place to our sorrow every month of Ramadan.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded intervention by the UN Security Council regarding the “settler terrorism” in Jerusalem.  The EU, UN, UK and U.S. have also criticized Israel, although they have asked “all sides” to calm the tensions down.

The Arab League will convene Sunday in an emergency session as well to condemn the security forces entering the Mount.