The Israeli Air Force has attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Tuesday morning, following a rocket launch by the terrorist group last night, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The rocket launch is perceived as another attempt to fan the flames in the area, following several days of unrest in the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa). While yesterday (Monday) was a relatively calm day as far as riots and disturbances – the political / diplomatic front was on fire.
Israel’s ambassador to Jordan was summoned was summoned for a reprimand over Israel’s actions on Temple Mount. Jordan submitted an official letter of complaint, blaming Israel for the situation in Jerusalem and calling its actions illegal, intended to change the historic status quo in Al Aqsa.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that such moves “harm efforts to bring about quiet in Jerusalem and provide backing to those who are damaging the sanctity of the holidays and are using violence which endangers the lives of Muslims and Jews alike.
“We call on everyone to assist Israel in its efforts to bring about calm in Jerusalem and enable freedom of worship on the Temple Mount.
“The State of Israel is committed to and is acting indefatigably to guarantee freedom of religion and worship for Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Jerusalem on normal days and holidays alike, and certainly in this period during which Passover, Ramadan, and Easter converge.
The ministry also called on “every responsible partner” to “not take part in spreading completely false information which only inflames the atmosphere. Statements supporting violent actions, including the throwing of rocks, are beyond understanding and contribute to escalation.
“Israel is maintaining the status quo and expects all of its partners to condemn extremists partaking in incitement and violence.”
The situation vis-à-vis Jordan, custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites, deteriorated even further later in the day when the Prime Minister, Bisher Al-Khasawneh, said that he “praises every Palestinian who throws rocks, and every Jordanian Islamic Wakf worker who stands tall against the pro-Zionists defiling Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the auspices of the Israeli occupation.”
Throughout the day, Jordanian King Abdullah held a blitz of diplomatic calls with Arab and other world leaders – the Egyptian president, UAE heir, Quatari emir, Palestinian prime minister, UN Sec-Gen, and President of the European Council – stressing the need to stop Israel’s “illegal and provocative actions.” The King stated that the “Israeli escalation is destabilizing the chances of achieving peace.”
"I view with utmost severity the remarks accusing Israel of the violence directed against us, and there are those who are encouraging rock-throwing and the use of violence against the citizens of the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett.
“This is unacceptable to us. This is a reward for the inciters, especially Hamas, which are trying to ignite violence in Jerusalem.We will not allow this to happen.
“The State of Israel will continue to provide for and safeguard the dignity of all of us, to enable everyone to celebrate in Jerusalem, and – most of all – our forces will continue to provide security for the citizens of the State of Israel."
Today (Tuesday), the UN Security Council is expected to convene for a session about the situation in Jerusalem. Neither Israeli nor Palestinian delegates have been invited to attend.