Qatari official says recent escalations by Israel in Jerusalem and Gaza can only be described as ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers, according to local reports.
All members of the Arab League should unite in efforts and actively move to support the Palestinian people and end Israeli aggression, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Tuesday.
“I hope that there will be a unified decision by the member states, with a broad move in international forums in order to support the brotherly Palestinian people,” Sheikh Mohammed said during an emergency virtual session with Arab foreign ministers.
Held under the chairmanship of Qatar, the meeting focused on recent escalations in Palestine and ways to stop Israel’s violations of international law.
The Qatari official said Israeli aggression targeting Palestinians in Jerusalem and several other cities can be categorised as war crimes, calling on Arab countries to unite in order to prevent it from happening again.
Sheikh Mohammed described the crisis as the result of a “fierce escalation campaign by the Israeli occupation forces.”
The official also went on to describe moves by extremist Jewish settlers to forcibly expel Palestinians from their historic homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood as ethnic cleansing, The Peninsula reported.
“The Jewish settlers have confessed in front of the cameras to stealing Palestinian homes under the eyes of the Israeli occupation forces. The issue is not an individual ownership of some houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, but rather a link within a scheme implemented by the settlement associations,” the Qatari official said,
“The settler associations consider what they do in the Arab neighbourhoods as a religious duty to uproot the Arabs and replace them,” he added.
Qatar’s foreign minister also said the violence is not just related to a single incident of stealing homes in Sheikh Jarrah, but rather part of a bigger plan carried out by radical settlement groups in Arab neighbourhoods that is supported by the Israeli government and its law.
Israel has carried out large-scale operations to build settlement as part of its Judaisation plans, the official emphasised. This included storming into the Al Aqsa mosque and attacking worshippers with stun grenades and bullets this week.
In recent days, Israeli forces used rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades, and tear gas to attack Palestinians at the Al Aqsa compound as it carried out a raid for days in a row. Harrowing videos that emerged online showed worshippers at the mosque facing tear gas inside the mosque.
Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in brute force attacks by Israeli police in Jerusalem and across the West Bank in recent days, while air strikes in Gaza left dozens dead, including children.
Such action occurred bluntly, signalling confidence by Israel to slip from accountability, Sheikh Mohammed said. The official described the severe war violations by Israeli forces as a “criminal attack.”
“The indiscriminate Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip is a criminal, condemned and unacceptable attack that contributes to aggravating the situation,” he said in a speech.
“The dangerous circumstance that the Palestinian issue is going through makes it imperative for all Palestinian factions to transcend the differences.”
Qatar maintains its firm position to support Palestine and the rights of its people, including the establishment of an independent state based on the borders of 1967 with East Al Quds as its capital, he said.
The deputy PM also said that the country hopes that this meeting will lead to an active and united Arab position to end the violations and attacks by Israeli forces and stand in support of Palestinians.
“We hope that the Arab League meeting will produce results that strengthen the Arab and Palestinian position in international forums. It is our standing in one line that will frustrate the usual Israeli approach to imposing special laws and customs outside international law.”
He also praised the resilience of the Palestinian people in occupied Jerusalem for their bravery.
Israel has justified its actions as a “response to violence”, pointing towards Palestinians who had reportedly hurled rocks and other objects at occupying forces.