Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said they will continue building illegal settlements in Jerusalem in remarks that are likely to escalate ongoing tensions.
Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, he rejected calls by the US and European states to halt forceful evictions of Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Claiming that Jerusalem has been capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years, he said: “As every nation builds in its capital, we too have the right to build in Jerusalem. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do.”
“We will not allow any extremist party to disturb the peace of Jerusalem. We will maintain the rule of law and order firmly and responsibly. We will continue to uphold freedom of worship for all religions but we will not allow violent disturbances,” he added.
At least 205 Palestinians were injured on Friday after Israel attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus Gate of the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Israeli police on Friday attacked Muslim worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque while they were performing tarawih — special night prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community-AA