Saudi King Salman: Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque “feeds extremism” – Asharq Al-Awsat
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has denounced the recent Israeli escalation against worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine, saying that it constitutes “a flagrant violation of the sanctity of religions and feeds extremism and violence throughout the world.”
The remarks came during discussions King Salman held over the phone with several world leaders on Thursday, including US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
King Salman called for the United Nations to intervene urgently and take speedy measures to stop the Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest site in Islam— and protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.
Also on Thursday, King Salman received calls from several Arab and regional leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. They discussed the latest flare up of violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s use of force against worshippers.
The Kingdom said it held Israel responsible for any consequences resulting from these illegal actions, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday quoting a Saudi official source.
The recent spate of violence erupted on Sunday when Israeli police escorted a group of Jewish activists to tour the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to mark the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. Several Palestinian protesters were trapped inside the compound.
Visits by Israeli officials to the shrine have often resulted in clashes and violence, with police attacking worshippers and repeatedly blocking access to the site for Palestinians.
Riyadh is spearheading efforts within the Arab league to stop Israel’s aggression against the holy site, Saudi Arabia’s permanent ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Mouallimi said the Kingdom’s stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was clear and firm and that it supports the two-state solution and the right to self-determination for the Palestinians.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered holy by both Muslims and Jews and access to the site has always been a flash point between the Palestinians and Israelis.