Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates condemn Israel for Palestinian clashes in Al-Aqsa

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Israeli policeman grapples with a Palestinian in front of the Dome of the Rock during clashes in what is known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews, amid tension over the possible displacement of several Palestinian families

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday condemned Israel’s plans to evict Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers after a night of violence in Jerusalem.

Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stunned grenades at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque late Friday at Palestinian youths who were throwing stones.

The clashes at Islam’s third holiest site and around East Jerusalem, in which 205 Palestinians and 17 police officers were injured, took place amid growing anger over the planned evictions.

“Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s plans and measures to evict dozens of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and impose Israeli sovereignty on them,” the kingdom’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saudi-owned Al Arabiya.

The United Arab Emirates, which normalized relations with Israel last year, “condemned” the clashes and possible evictions in a statement by the United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, Khalifa al-Marar, and called on the Israeli authorities to ease tensions .

In a statement by the state news agency WAM, Marar stressed that “the Israeli authorities must, in accordance with international law, assume their responsibility to protect the right of Palestinian civilians to practice their religion and to prevent practices that violate these provisions.” the holiness of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque “.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel agreed last year to normalize relations under a US-brokered agreement.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has long advocated the Palestinian cause and avoids official contact with Israel. Riyadh tacitly agreed to the so-called Abraham Accords – but stopped approving them.

In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia and met his Crown Prince on the first publicly confirmed visit by an Israeli leader.

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