An emergency meeting of Arab-nation foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Jerusalem has been postponed until Thursday, in order to allow for the widest participation of nations.
The League of Arab States said the meeting in Cairo, requested by the Jordanian government, will focus on the crisis at the al-Aqsa mosque. Tensions in Jerusalem have escalated since a shooting 10 days ago at the shared mosque and Temple Mount site, holy to both Muslims and Jews. Five people, including two Israeli police officers, were killed in the incident.
The violence prompted Israeli officials to close off the site for Friday prayers on July 14, adding new security equipment before it was reopened two days later. Yet the new cameras and screening measures prompted protests over increased Israeli control at the Muslim-administered mosque site, with three Palestinians killed on Friday in violent clashes. Three Israelis also were killed and one wounded in Neve Tsuf on Friday, according to the Israeli Defense Force.
The severity of the rupture over Israel’s security measures, and any restrictions on the freedom to worship at al-Aqsa, prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sever diplomatic ties with Israel for the time being.
The League of Arab States agreed to quickly call an emergency meeting on the issue, as Egyptian Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned Israeli use of force against unarmed Palestinians in and near the Old City holy sites. Aboul Gheit also warned Israel that it risked the anger of the Arab and Islamic world, and called on the international community to help end the crisis.
Image: League of Arab States