Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have condemned an Israeli official’s “storming” of the al-Aqsa mosque’s courtyard.
On Tuesday, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visited the Jerusalem compound that houses the holy site, a move which Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said was a bid to turn the mosque into a “Jewish temple.”
The compound is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina and Judaism’s most sacred site, a vestige of two ancient temples of the faith.
“Saudi Arabia condemns the provocative action of an Israeli official who stormed the courtyard of al-Aqsa mosque,” the foreign ministry said.
The Kingdom also noted “the Israeli occupation authorities’ practices which undermine the international peace efforts and [violate] international principles and norms regarding respecting religious sanctities.”
The ministry also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s “solid stance of standing by the brotherly Palestinian people,” and voiced the Kingdom’s support of all efforts which aim “to end occupation and reach a just and comprehensive solution… to allow the Palestinians to establish an independent state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The UAE also condemned the Israeli minister’s “storming” of the mosque’s courtyard.
The UAE’s foreign ministry reiterated the importance of providing “full protection of al-Aqsa Mosque and ending dangerous and provocative violations there.”
The ministry also reaffirmed its support of regional and international efforts which aim to push the peace process forward in the Middle East and to put an end to “illegitimate actions” that threaten achieving the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
It also called on Israeli authorities to “de-escalate” and urged them against making any steps that may increase tension and instability in the region.
Jordan also condemned in “severest” terms Ben-Gvir’s visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
“Jordan condemns in the severest of terms the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque and violating its sanctity,” said a statement by the foreign ministry.