By Betul Yuruk
UNITED NATIONS (AA) – The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations on Saturday voiced “deep concern” for recent conflicts around Al-Aqsa in East Jerusalem and urged respect for places of religion.
Miguel Angel Moratinos said people have a right to exercise religious worship and traditions without fear, in peace and safety and respect for holy sites in East Jerusalem is necessary.
Moratinos expressed his wish for a speedy recovery of those wounded in the conflicts around Al-Aqsa.
Palestinians in Jerusalem in recent days have protested in solidarity with residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood amid clashes with Israeli police.
Protests came as the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers at the beginning of 2021.
Israeli police engaged worshippers in Al-Aqsa on Friday night during tarawih prayer with stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, using stun grenades and gas bombs.
Women were also targeted by Israeli forces, according to witnesses.
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.
Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed that at least 285 Palestinians have been injured so far in conflicts.
* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara