Palestinian worshippers walk past the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City Image Credit: AFP

In the past two weeks, more than 200 Palestinians were wounded as a result of Israel’s use of force, according to the United Nations. Israeli actions, the UN said, “must be promptly, impartially, independently and transparently investigated.”

The situation was calmer over the weekend following high level interventions by a number of Arab countries including the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

“Our region needs stability and to work together in order to move forward in development along all paths so as to achieve the aspirations of our peoples for progress and prosperity,” Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told his Israeli counterpart in a telephone call. He emphasised the need for calming the situation and the immediate end to any practices that violate the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Arab foreign ministers, who met in Amman on Friday, condemned the Israeli attacks against worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque, which have escalated dangerously during the month of Ramadan. They warned that “the Israeli measures threaten to ignite a cycle of violence and pose a substantial threat to security and stability in the region and the world.”

Just settlement

Israel might be tempted to use the Ukrainian crisis as a cover to intensify its non-stop illegal efforts to change the legal, the historical and the demographic situation in the occupied holy city. But that will be a serious mistake.

Denying the Palestinians their inalienable right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, will kill whatever glimmer of hope that is left of reaching a peaceful and just settlement to the world’s longest running conflict.

The international community, especially the UN Security Council, must thus take immediate and effective action to stop these illegal Israeli practices.

Recent years raised the hopes of reviving the peace process following the Abraham Accords. The agreements created some momentum for regional collaboration in different developmental sectors.

The momentum needs to be defended and allowed to grow for the sake of this region’s future generations. But the recent actions in and around Al Aqsa compound, one of Islam’s holiest sites, don’t bode well.

Therefore, Israel must end its actions immediately, stop provocative actions by the illegal settlers, and abide by the international resolutions that call for respecting the historical and demographic stance of Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories.