Reactions poured in from around the world on Monday after violence sparked by days of unrest at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, with Israel launching deadly air strikes on Gaza in response to a barrage of rockets fired by the Islamist movement Hamas.
Here are the global reactions:
– US –
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged both Israel and the Palestinians to lower tensions.
“All sides need to de-escalate, reduce tensions, take practical steps to calm things down,” Blinken said as he met his Jordanian counterpart in Washington.
Blinken strongly condemned the rocket fire by Hamas, saying they “need to stop immediately”, and backed Israel’s right to respond.
– UK –
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also condemned the rocket attacks, saying “the ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop”.
“We need an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and an end to targeting of civilian populations,” he tweeted.
– Turkey –
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to mobilise the world to stop Israeli “terror”, in phone calls Monday to Palestinian leaders.
In the calls to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Erdogan denounced Israel’s actions and extended support.
READ ALSO: Hundreds Wounded In East Jerusalem Violence
The Turkish leader pledged to “do everything in his power to mobilise the world, starting with the Islamic world, to stop Israel’s terror and occupation,” his office said.
– Iran –
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to blame Israel for stealing “people’s land & homes” and creating “an Apartheid regime”.
He also accused Israel of refusing to vaccinate citizens “under illegal occupation” and accused Israeli police of shooting “innocent worshippers” inside the Al-Aqsa mosque.
On Saturday, a foreign ministry spokesman called on the United Nations to condemn Israeli police action in the mosque compound, saying it amounted to a “war crime”.
– Egypt –
Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement it “firmly” condemned “the new incursion of Israeli forces into the al-Aqsa mosque”.
– UN –
The UN Security Council held an urgent meeting Monday over the violence, but issued no immediate statement.
Negotiations were continuing among the 15 nations on the Security Council on a text that could be watered down from an initial draft proposed by Norway.
But diplomats said the United States believed public comments would be counterproductive.
– EU –
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was “deeply concerned over the recent clashes”.
It was “important that everything possible will be done to avoid fuelling tensions”, he added.
He described the evictions of Palestinians as a “matter of serious concern” and said “such actions are illegal under international humanitarian law”.
– Germany –
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said “nothing justifies rockets being fired on the civilian Israeli population,” adding it “certainly does not lead to the resolution of the conflict” but instead “a senseless further escalation”.
“All parties have a duty to avoid further civilian casualties,” he tweeted.
– France –
“France calls on all concerned to show the greatest restraint and refrain from any provocation to allow a return to calm as swiftly as possible,” a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
– Jordan –
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Jerusalem was a “red line” for the kingdom, which has a peace treaty with Israel and maintains a custodial role in the Al-Aqsa compound, known to Muslims as Al-Haram al-Sharif.
“Our focus right now is on ensuring that the escalation stops, and for that to happen we believe that all illegal, provocative measures against the peoples of Sheikh Jarrah or in terms of violations into al-Haram must stop,” Safadi said as he met Blinken.
– Pope Francis –
Pope Francis on Sunday called for an end to the violence, saying he was “following with particular concern the events that are happening in Jerusalem”.
“I pray so that this might be a place of encounter and not violent clashes, a place of prayer and of peace,” he said.
“Violence only generates violence. Let’s stop these clashes.”