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Mideast countries condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza, Lebanon

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-08 11:46

A demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag during a rally in support of Palestinians in Rabat late on April 7, 2023, following clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians inside Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO -- Several countries in the Middle East denounced on Friday the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza and southern Lebanon, urging all parties to de-escalate to avoid more bloodshed.

The Israeli army struck southern Lebanon and Gaza Strip late Thursday night after it accused the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), the Gaza ruler, of being behind the 34 rockets that were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel on Thursday afternoon.

No fatalities were reported in Gaza or Lebanon, but several people in the town of Qalili in southern Lebanon were lightly wounded, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said on Friday that his country will submit an official complaint to the UN Security Council as Israel's attacks on southern Lebanon "constitute a flagrant violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and UN Security Council Resolution 1701."

The Qatari Foreign Ministry voiced its strong condemnation of the Israeli attacks on Friday, urging the international community to "act urgently to compel Israel to stop its flagrant violations of international laws and force it to respect the resolutions of international legitimacy."

Also on Friday, Egypt said it is "deeply concerned" by the dangerous escalation in the region over the past 48 hours, following the Israel police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Smoke rises above buildings in Gaza City as Israel launched air strikes on the Palestinian enclave early on April 5, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The statement attributed the ongoing escalation to the Israeli assault on worshipers, which led to the missile attacks toward Israel and retaliatory airstrikes by the Israeli air forces in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt also emphasized the need for all sides to exercise restraint and respond to de-escalating efforts, warning against the grave dangers looming in the region if the current wave of violence continued.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday strongly condemned recent Israeli airstrikes on "civilian areas" in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian enclave of Gaza Strip.

In a statement published on the ministry's website, Kanaani said the latest Israeli strikes are "a continuation" of their recent raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Iran deemed a "desecration" of the holy place, and their forces' brutal attacks on Palestinian worshippers.

Kanaani said the attacks constitute a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity and also a flagrant breach of the principles of international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

He called on the international community as well as the responsible international bodies to take "effective and deterrent" actions against Israel's "acts of aggression."

In a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condemned Israel's recent "acts of aggression" against Syria and Lebanon, and stressed the need for greater unity among Muslim states in confronting such actions by Israel.

The Iranian president also denounced the "crimes" committed by Israel against Palestinians, particularly the attacks on worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and "the desecration" of the holy site.

For his part, Erdogan emphasized the need for unity among the Islamic world against Israel's attacks in Palestine, particularly at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a statement of the Turkish Presidency.

He suggested taking initiative to guide all parties toward "common sense" to prevent further violence, and called for joint efforts to protect the status of holy places on international platforms, such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations.

The latest round of escalation followed Israeli raids earlier this week at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a flashpoint holy site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli police forces fired gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinian worshipers.

The Israeli raids came during a sensitive time when Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan with prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while Jews were commemorating the Passover holiday.

The Israeli police said "dozens of law-breaking youths" attempted to barricade themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque to incite riots.

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