The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has publicly denounced violence from far-right Jewish protesters against Palestinians which unfolded last week.
The statement, released yesterday, condemned “violence and incitement carried out by extremist Jewish groups”, and expressed “deep concern” regarding escalation of attacks since the beginning of Ramadan earlier in April.
The Ministry also called for the Israeli authorities to provide the necessary protection for Palestinians living in Jerusalem and to prevent anything which would affect the rights of worshippers to access Al-Aqsa Mosque. This comes after reports that the Israeli police were accused of erecting barriers to stop Palestinians congregating on the steps near Damascus Gate to break fast for Ramadan.
The BBC reported on Friday that the violence escalated when Israeli police tried to keep “ultra-nationalist Jewish protesters” and Palestinians apart. Numerous confrontations in East Jerusalem had allegedly occurred in the days leading up to the incident.
The worst of the violence reportedly erupted when hundreds of supporters of the Jewish extremist group Lehava approached Damascus Gate, where many Palestinians were gathered, chanting “death to Arabs”, according to the BBC.
There were no casualties but 100 Palestinians were allegedly injured, along with 20 police officers. A total of 50 arrests were said to have been made.
East Jerusalem is claimed by Palestinians, whilst Israel asserts that the whole of the city constitutes its capital. Israel has occupied Jerusalem and swathes of Palestinian territory since the 1967 Six Day War, and territorial disputes have been raging ever since.