Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian armed movement based in Lebanon, declared Thursday that it would back “all measures” Palestinian groups might take against Israel in response to the violence at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Hezbollah strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces’ assault on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and their attacks on the faithful,” the group said in a statement.
“Hezbollah proclaims its full solidarity with the Palestinian people and the resistance groups, and pledges to stand with them in all measures they take to protect worshippers and the al-Aqsa Mosque and to deter the enemy from continuing its attacks,” the statement reads.
After Israeli police clashed with inside Islam’s third-holiest site, a rocket and air strike exchange with militants in Gaza ensued, and the world worried that the situation would only get worse.
As the Jewish Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincide this year, violence has erupted at al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Gaza Strip fired two more rockets at Israel late Wednesday.
Despite being bitter enemies, Hezbollah and Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza, and Islamic Jihad, a militant group also based in the coastal enclave, are close allies.
More than 1,200 people died on the Lebanese side, most of them civilians, and 160 people died on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers, during the last major military confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Said The Police “Had To Act To Restore Order
He vowed that “violent extremists” would not succeed in their efforts to alter Israel’s commitment to “freedom of worship, free access to all religions, and the status quo” on the Temple Mount.
The Islamic Waqf, which oversees the mosque, called the police’s actions “a flagrant violation of the identity and function of the mosque as a place of worship for Muslims alone.”
Also condemning the raid as an attack on Muslim worshippers was the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas .Nabil Abu Rudeineh warned the Occupation (Israel) not to cross the red lines in the holy places or “the big explosion” would occur.
It was “an unprecedented crime,” according to the leader of the Islamist militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and he threatened Israel with “consequences.”
Tor Wennesland, the UN envoy to the Middle East, expressed his “appalled” at the “images of violence” inside the al-Aqsa mosque and called for “rejection of incitement, inflammatory rhetoric, and provocative actions” from all parties involved.
After the fighting ended, militants in Gaza reportedly launched 16 rockets into southern Israel, setting off alarms in the area. They reported that one rocket struck a factory close to Sderot, while the rest were either shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system or fell in open areas.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, it is widely believed that Hamas was behind it. In retaliation, according to the Israeli military, its planes bombed a Hamas weapons factory, a storage facility, and a military training facility. Military outposts along the border fence between Israel and Gaza were also attacked by Israeli tanks.
Neither Side Claimed Any Casualties
Earlier on Sunday, representatives from Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) met in Aqaba, Jordan for “frank discussions” with their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, and the United States.
According to reports, Israel and Palestine have been holding secret talks to defuse tensions after a terrorist attack in East Jerusalem killed seven Israelis and an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp killed nine Palestinians within 48 hours earlier this month.
Since the end of the Obama administration, there has been no real effort on either side to negotiate the establishment of a Palestinian state. The group issued a communique with eight commitments in an effort to speed things up,
the first of which was a reiteration of “the necessity of committing to de-escalation on the ground and to prevent further violence.” That didn’t last until nightfall when settlers across Huwara set their wreckage on fire and left.
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When A Palestinian Shooter Takes Two Lives, Israeli Settlers React Violently
After two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian gunman in the northern West Bank, hundreds of settlers went on a violent rampage, torching dozens of cars and homes.
According to Palestinian medics, this appears to be the worst incident of settler violence in the area in decades, with one man killed and four others severely injured.
On the same day that Israeli and Palestinian officials had pledged to calm a year-long wave of bloodshed, a deadly shooting and subsequent late-night riot cast immediate doubt on the viability of Jordan’s declaration.
According to Palestinian media, more than 100 vehicles and 30 homes were set on fire on Sunday night. Large fires were seen raging throughout the town in photos and videos shared on social media, lighting up the night sky and serving as a stark reminder of the earlier fatal shooting.