Pakistan condemns Israeli assault on Al Aqsa Mosque

by BERNAMA / pic AFP

NEW DELHI • Pakistan joined in the chorus of condemnation by Muslim nations following Friday’s Israeli assault on the Al Aqsa Mosque as tensions prevail in Jerusalem.

“This highly condemnable assault on worshippers, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, is an egregious violation of all humanitarian norms and human rights laws,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry (MOFA) said in a statement.

“In recent weeks, Israeli forces have killed dozens and injured countless Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem and other areas. This escalation of violence by Israeli forces in the Palestinian territories is deplorable,” the ministry said.

Israeli armed forces injured about 150 Palestinians and arrested hundreds of people after storming the mosque compound on Friday, according to reports.

Palestinians held protests after the Israeli violence and called on Islamic countries to protect Al Aqsa.

“Every day there are martyrs, people killed, wounded and there are raids and provocations,” 43-year-old Ashraf Awad told Al Jazeera.

A number of Pakistani politicians denounced Israel and voiced solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said human rights groups and the United Nations should take immediate notice of the Israeli aggression and hold Israeli forces accountable for the violence.

“The violence that took place at Al Aqsa Mosque is a matter of great sadness,” Sanjrani said in comments posted on Twitter by the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

The National Assembly’s former deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri said Israel deliberately violated the mosque’s sanctity.

Former prime minister Imran Khan said the Israeli attack during prayers at Islam’s third holiest site affects Muslims worldwide.

Others who condemned the Israeli assault include former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser.

The violence in Jerusalem has raised fears of the repeat of the carnage in May last year when Israel killed more than 250 Palestinians and injured about 1,900 in Gaza.