At least 30 people in Gaza, some of them children, have been killed as Israel continues strikes on the enclave. Another 700 Palestinians have been wounded in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank by Israeli forces.
Global rights bodies, Muslim forums, and several countries have condemned Israel for its deadly air strikes on besieged Gaza and indiscriminate aggression by its forces and illegal settlers on unarmed Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.
While Turkey and other Muslim countries are trying to drum up more support for embattled Palestinians, US and European Union have thrown their weight behind Israel.
About 28 people in Gaza, some of them children, were killed in Israeli bombardment. In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces backed by illegal settlers have wounded more than 700 unarmed Palestinians. Two women have also died in southern Israel.
Here’re some of the reactions on the ongoing crisis:
The head of the Arab League condemned deadly Israeli air strikes on the Gaza as “indiscriminate and irresponsible” and said Israel had provoked an earlier escalation in violence by its actions in occupied Jerusalem.
“Israeli violations in Jerusalem, and the government’s tolerance of Jewish extremists hostile to Palestinians and Arabs, is what led to the ignition of the situation in this dangerous way,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.
The attacks in Gaza were a “miserable show of force at the expense of children’s blood”, he said.
Aboul Gheit called on the international community to act immediately to stop the violence, saying continuing “Israeli provocations” were an affront to Muslims on the eve of the Eid holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (#OIC), upon the request of the State of #Palestine, will on 11 May 2021 convene an emergency meeting of Permanent Representatives to discuss the escalating #Israeli aggression in Al-Quds. Read more: https://t.co/EbaWczLVZ8 #AlAqsaMosque pic.twitter.com/pLhcyHWgej
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) May 10, 2021
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
Permanent UN representatives of OIC member states declared that they will mobilise international support for Palestinians in an urgent meeting in New York on Tuesday.
OIC permanent representatives “unequivocally condemned the recent brutal use of force by the Israeli forces which injured over 300 Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and around Al Aqsa mosque,” the Pakistani mission at the UN said in a statement on Monday.
A core group of OIC members including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan has taken the lead in seeking support to convene a special session of the UN General Assembly on the matter, the statement said.
The OIC permanent representatives agreed to discuss attacks on Muslim worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque and other escalations in occupied Jerusalem and blockaded Gaza at the meeting on Monday, it added.
Israel’s recent attacks go “against all humanitarian norms and human rights laws,” especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the OIC ambassadors said in the meeting according to the statement.
“Alarms were particularly raised that residents of Sheikh Jarrah who lived in that neighbourhood for decades were facing the threat of forced eviction,” the envoys said, urging the international community to take prompt action to protect the Palestinian people.
The United Nations rights office said it was “deeply concerned” over the escalation of violence.
“We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations,” spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
He said Israeli security forces must allow the freedom of expression, association and assembly.
“No force should be used against those exercising their rights peacefully,” said the spokesman from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
When use of force is necessary, it should comply fully with international human rights standards, he added.
Colville said the office of UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet was particularly concerned about the impact of the violence on children.
“Detained children should be released,” he said.
Stop violations in occupied East Jerusalem. @amnesty's been on the ground & witnessed Israeli forces use of excessive force against protesters and bystanders. #Israel must end use of unlawful force & forced evictions of Palestinians. Int'l community must hold Israel accountable.
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) May 10, 2021
Human rights group Amnesty International accused Israel of using “abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters,” describing some of the measures as “disproportionate and unlawful.”
The rights group called on the international community “to hold Israel accountable for its systemic violations” in a statement.
Amnesty said Israel has used excessive force over multiple weeks of east Jerusalem protests.
In one incident, it said Israeli forces last week broke up a peaceful circle of Palestinians chanting against an attempt by Israelis to evict them from their homes in the city’s Sheikh Jarrah district.
Forces on horseback sprinted toward the crowd, trampling a man who was trying to run away, Amnesty said.
Human Rights Watch
The Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir said Israel’s planned expulsions of Palestinian residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood “underscores the reality of apartheid that millions of Palestinians face” on Twitter.
The group Save the Children, also based in London, said it was “horrified” by the Israeli air strikes and demanded a stop to “the indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians.”
Planned Sheikh Jarrah evictions stem from an Israeli govt policy of “maintaining a solid Jewish majority” in Jerusalem (& target demographic ratios btw Jewish Israelis & Palestinians there it has set out) & underscore reality of apartheid that millions of Palestinians face 3/7 pic.twitter.com/RzBDaOFPZ0
— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) May 10, 2021
Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, underscored the need for “unequivocal and strong solidarity with all Palestinians.”
“The group should draw the international community’s attention to the Israeli violations of the historic and legal status quo at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and to stop these crimes against the Palestinian people and Muslim holy sites and to ensure the protection they need as per international law,” he said.
Akram reiterated Pakistan’s “unwavering commitment” to a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders and Al Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state.
Attacks in & outside Al-Aqsa Mosque,injuring innocent Palestinians,defy all humanitarian norms. East Jerusalem remains part of Occupied Palestinian Territory in which Int’l Humanitarian Law applies. Int’l community must urge Israel to respect fundamental freedoms of Palestinians.
— Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri (@Zhchaudhri) May 10, 2021
Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Jordan and Saudi Arabia have called for effective international efforts to protect Palestinians against Israeli attacks and violations.
The call came during talks over the phone between Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
“The two ministers emphasised the necessity of crystallising an effective international effort to protect the Palestinians against Israeli attacks and violations,” Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Jordan also warned Israel to stop what it described as “barbaric” attacks on worshippers in the Al Aqsa Mosque and said it would be stepping up international pressure, an official statement said.
#Statement | The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns in the strongest terms the blatant attacks carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the sanctity of #AlAqsaMosque, and for the security and safety of worshipers. pic.twitter.com/o1AcBQqgSd
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) May 11, 2021
Turkey strongly condemned Israel’s ongoing air strikes in Gaza “that have caused the death of many innocent people, including children.”
“It is clear that Israel’s aggressive and provocative policies will not contribute to efforts to end violence in the Middle East and to ensure dialogue and reconciliation prevail,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Israeli authorities must “immediately end” their military aggression against Palestinians, urging Tel Aviv to comprehend that the legitimate rights and demands of the Palestinian people can no longer be suppressed.
Israel's violence in Al-Aqsa Mosque against innocent people does not end.
Those who do not speak out against this atrocity should not talk about Middle East Peace Process.
Will continue to be the voice of our Palestinian brothers and sisters and defend their rights!
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) May 10, 2021
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to mobilise the world to stop Israeli “terror” in phone calls on Monday to Palestinian leaders.
In the calls to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Erdogan denounced Israel’s actions and extended support.
The Turkish leader pledged to “do everything in his power to mobilise the world, starting with the Islamic world, to stop Israel’s terror and occupation,” his office said.
Spoke to brother @MevlutCavusoglu on the increasingly dire and oppressive situation in Palestine. Fully support Turkey’s call to convene meeting of @OIC_OCI & UN. Storming 1st Qibla of Islam Masjid Al Aqsa, killing children and forcing evictions – absolutely unacceptable.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) May 11, 2021
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to blame Israel for stealing “people’s land & homes” and creating “an Apartheid regime”.
He also accused Israel of refusing to vaccinate citizens “under illegal occupation” and accused Israeli police of shooting “innocent worshippers” inside the Al Aqsa Mosque.
On Saturday, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called on the United Nations to condemn Israeli police action in the mosque compound, saying it amounted to a “war crime.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry also said in a statement it “firmly” condemned “the new incursion of Israeli forces into the Al Aqsa Mosque.”
In contrast to widespread condemnation of Israeli forces, the US has rationalised Israel’s violent attacks.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken strongly condemned the rocket fire by Hamas, saying they “need to stop immediately”, and backed Israel’s right to respond.
Blinken urged both Israel and the Palestinians to lower tensions.
“All sides need to de-escalate, reduce tensions, take practical steps to calm things down,” Blinken said as he met his Jordanian counterpart in Washington.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also condemned the rocket attacks, saying “the ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop”.
“We need an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and an end to targeting of civilian populations,” he tweeted.
Israel/Palestine: latest upsurge in violence needs to stop immediately. Firing of rockets from Gaza against civilians in 🇮🇱 is totally unacceptable. All sides have to engage in de-escalatory efforts. Priority is to prevent further civilian casualties. https://t.co/3o1KeLeFVA
— Peter Stano (@ExtSpoxEU) May 10, 2021
The “significant upsurge in violence” in the occupied West Bank, in and near Gaza and in East Jerusalem “needs to stop immediately,” a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
“The firing of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel is totally unacceptable and feeds escalatory dynamics,” the spokesman added in a statement.
On Tuesday a number of European representatives and diplomats visited Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem to meet with Palestinian families threatened with Israeli forced expulsion from their homes.
Deterioration in the security situation
— France Diplomacy🇫🇷 (@francediplo_EN) May 10, 2021
France called on all actors to show “maximum restraint” and to refrain from any provocation so that calm may be restored as quickly as possible in occupied East Jerusalem.
Four days after the violence first began, the French Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing serious concern over the incidents in occupied Jerusalem, saying “all actions contributing to escalation on the ground must end.”
“France calls on all concerned to show the greatest restraint and refrain from any provocation to allow a return to calm as swiftly as possible,” a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said “nothing justifies rockets being fired on the civilian Israeli population,” adding it “certainly does not lead to the resolution of the conflict” but instead “a senseless further escalation.”
Spoke to #France FM @JY_LeDrian on need for swift and effective international action to protect Palestinians against Israeli attacks and to stop violations at Al Haram. Israel is responsible for dangerous escalation. The world must act. https://t.co/sTVCl715M7
— Ayman Safadi (@AymanHsafadi) May 10, 2021
“All parties have a duty to avoid further civilian casualties,” he tweeted.