‘We urge both sides to make urgent contribution now to de-escalate situation,’ says government spokesperson.
Germany on Monday refused to condemn Israeli police attacks on Palestinian civilians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque which left over 300 hundreds of people injured and 9 killed in Gaza.
Asked twice at a press briefing in Berlin, if he would explicitly condemn the Israeli police assault on Palestinian women and children in and outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Christofer Burger only referred to the recent statement by the so-called Mideast Quartet.
In last week’s statement, the envoys of the Middle East Quartet (the EU, Russia, the US, and the UN) expressed “only deep concern” over the bloody clashes in East Jerusalem but did not specifically condemn the Israeli attack on the mosque.
Video images on social networks of Israeli security forces targeting Palestinian civilians with stun grenades and tear gas canisters in and outside the mosque has sparked international public outrage.
Meanwhile, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert called for de-escalation in the conflict, urging both sides to exercise judgement and restraint.
“We urge both sides to make an urgent contribution now to de-escalate the situation,” Seibert told journalists on Monday in Berlin.
Heavily armed Israeli security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound again on Monday morning, firing rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers, wounding hundreds of them.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.