Urgent foreign ministers’ meeting on latest Palestinian crisis deterred: Arab League

The Arab League has decided to put off a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the ongoing clashes in Palestine, moving the meeting from Wednesday to Thursday.

In an official statement on Sunday, Arab League spokesperson Mahmoud Afifi said the urgent meeting was postponed to ensure the largest number ministers could participate.

The meeting was requested by Jordan in response to deadly violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the past week.

He added that a meeting by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss recent Israeli escalations against Palestinians is set to be held next week.

On Friday, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and closed it for Friday prayers, citing security concerns.

The closure of Al-Aqsa for Friday prayers, the first such move since Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967, triggered clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops.

Israeli forces killed six Palestinians and injured tens in the past 72 hours, while a Palestinian man stabbed three Israeli settlers to death on Friday night.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said the Israeli government is “playing with fire and causing a major crisis with the Arab and Islamic world.”

Jerusalem is a “red line” and Arabs and Muslims would not accept such violations by Israeli occupation forces, the pan-Arab organisation chief said in a separate statement on Sunday.

Aboul-Gheit added that the current measures “have nothing to do with security.”

“Security considerations are not the real motive behind the recent Israeli actions in Jerusalem’s Old City and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa,” he said.

“What is happening today, unfortunately, is the completion of the project to Judaicise the Holy City and take over the old town,” he said.

On Saturday, two Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces as Israeli troops moved to prepare for the demolition of the home of the Palestinian who they say stabbed the three Israeli settlers to death on Friday in the town of Kobar in the occupied West Bank.

On Friday, Egypt called on Israel to immediately stop its violent actions and cancel its escalated security measures against Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque area, expressing “deep concern”.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold closed-door talks on Monday about the spiralling violence, after Egypt, France and Sweden sought a meeting to “urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported.”

Source: Ahram Online