The first minister of Scotland on Saturday condemned the brute force and violence of Israeli authorities deployed against Palestinian Muslims during their worship in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Nicola Sturgeon in a statement on Twitter called on the Israeli government to listen to calls by the international community and cease its attacks on Islam’s third holiest site as well its illegal evictions of Palestinian residents in the occupied neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
“Attacking a place of worship at any time is reprehensible, but attacking a mosque during Ramadan is utterly indefensible,” Sturgeon said.
“It is also a violation of international law. Israel should heed calls to halt the violence immediately,” the first minister added, using the hashtag #SheikhJarrah that has been trending on Twitter in the past week.
This month the Israeli Jerusalem District Court ordered that Palestinian families living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood must vacate their homes. Up to 60 people, including 17 children are due to be forcibly removed by the authorities in order to make way for the demolition and construction of Israeli settler homes.
As a result of the ruling and in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinians have demonstrated against the court’s decision in a number of areas but also in the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of Rock. In response to these demonstrations, Israeli police armed with smoke and stun grenades have violently dispersed protesters.
Authorities have also attempted to forcefully prevent Ramadan gatherings in and around the mosque and on Friday evening, which marked International Jerusalem Day, the vicinity was the scene of a battleground as Israeli forces violently suppressed protesters and worshippers.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque as well the adjacent Dome of Rock forms a part of the Haram al-Sharif and is Islam’s third holiest site. The vicinity is administered by Jordan, however, the Israeli government has laid claim to the area, sponsoring violent attacks by right-wing extremists and even invading the area.
Tel Aviv’s brutal response has provoked international condemnation across the world with many countries calling on Israel to cease its malign activities and respect international law.
Over 200 Palestinians on Friday evening were injured during Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa and other occupied areas of East Jerusalem.