Singapore 'deeply concerned' by violence in Jerusalem, urges restraint from all sides

Singapore 'deeply concerned' by violence in Jerusalem, urges restraint from all sides

Israel Palestinians
Israeli police officers block a Palestinian demonstrator during a protest against the planned evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem, on May 8, 2021. (Photo: AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Sunday (May 9) expressed concern over the violence in Jerusalem, where hundreds were wounded as protesters clashed with Israeli security forces. 

The ministry also urged all sides to "exercise restraint".

“Singapore is deeply concerned by the violence that has occurred in Jerusalem, including on the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount and in Sheikh Jarrah in recent days,” MFA said in a statement.

The protests in Jerusalem broke out three weeks ago at the start of Ramadan, when Israel restricted gatherings at a popular meeting spot outside the Old City.

The removal of the restrictions briefly calmed the situation, though protests reignited in recent days over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes in east Jerusalem, which is claimed by both sides in a conflict spanning decades.

More than 200 people were injured on Friday, following a clash between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and elsewhere in Jerusalem.

READ: Israeli police beef up presence in Jerusalem, fearing unrest

Israeli police entered the compound after they said protesters threw rocks and fireworks at them, wounding 17 officers. 

The Al-Aqsa mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam and it is also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. It has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The conflict drew condemnations from Israel’s Arab allies and calls for calm from the United States, Europe and the United Nations.

Dozens of Palestinians were also wounded overnight in clashes that started on Saturday, as Muslims marked Laylat al-Qadr, or the “night of destiny”, the holiest period of Ramadan.

The Palestinian Red Cross reported that many of the injured had been hit by rubber bullets and stun grenades.

READ: Pope Francis urges end to clashes in Jerusalem

“We wish those who have been injured a full recovery,” MFA said in its statement. “We strongly urge all sides to exercise restraint and bring a halt to all violence.

“All parties must refrain from any actions that would further escalate tensions.”

Source: CNA/Agencies/ga(ta)

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