Churches urge international community to end tension in Jerusalem

Israeli actions targeting worshipers and dignity of Palestinians are unacceptable, say heads of churches in Jerusalem

ANKARA : The Patriarchs and Heads of Jerusalem churches have urged the international community to intervene and end the tension in the holy city created mainly by right-wing radical groups.

“The actions undermining the safety of worshipers and the dignity of the Palestinians who are subject to eviction are unacceptable,” said the joint statement released by the Patriarchs and Heads of Jerusalem churches.

Referring to the developments that took place at the al-Aqsa compound and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the statement said: “These concerning developments violate the sanctity of the people of Jerusalem and Jerusalem as the city of Peace.”

The statement further said: “The growing tension, backed mainly by right-wing radical groups, endangers the already fragile reality in and around Jerusalem.”

“The special character of Jerusalem, with the existing status quo, compels all parties to preserve the already sensitive situation in the holy city,” it added.

Urging the international community and all people of goodwill to take any action to stop these “provocative actions,” the statement expressed concern at the recent developments.

“We are profoundly disheartened and concerned about the recent violent events in East Jerusalem,” the statement added.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces. ​​​​​​

The number of those martyred in attacks by Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip late on Monday rose to 24 and the wounded to 103, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

By : Faruk Zorlu – ANADOLU AGENCY

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