Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator
The King of Jordan, Abdallah II, spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and said that the repeated Israeli actions and provocations against the Palestinian people have led to the current escalations. The royal court wrote on Twitter on Monday that Israeli actions are pushing the region towards more tension.
Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty signed between them and successfully lasting for 27 years. King Abdullah II said that there is no alternative to a political solution of a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution and guarantee the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The King drew attention to Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, of Palestine refugees, who lost both their original homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict. In 1956, these refugee families moved into Sheikh Jarrah with the support of the Jordanian government and material assistance from the UN following their displacement. They have resided in their homes for nearly seventy years, but are now at risk of being displaced by the Israeli government in a forced eviction which is ethnic cleansing.
Jordan's Queen Rania is Palestinian, and the population is overwhelmingly ethnically Palestinian.
Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations: "The solidarity required by our Palestinian brothers today is a solidarity based on principle. Israel has no business to be in the occupied territories of Palestine; to be in E-Jerusalem; to attack Gaza; to launch fascist movements, lynching and killing Palestinians."
The Gaza-based Hamas movement said its actions were a response to the Israeli policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces last week, followed by Israel missing a Hamas deadline to withdraw its forces from the mosque compound.
Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages on Gaza killed at least 198 Palestinians, including 93 women and children, between last Monday and Sunday evening, with more than 1,000 wounded. In Israel, at least 10 were killed, including two children.
Israeli officials and society are surprised at the brutal clashes between Jews and Israeli-Arabs. 21% of the population of Israel is made up of non-Jewish citizens who are Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Israel had hoped their Arabs had forgotten their Palestinian ethnicity while living since 1948 in Israel, but the civilian suffering in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank awakened their solidarity with their countrymen and has now fanned fears of civil war.
Fr. Ibrahim Faltas, of the Franciscan order, and director of the Christian schools of the Holy Land, said "We are on the verge of a civil war" while we are witnessing "helpless in the face of unprecedented man against man violence" that explodes "with all the anger on both sides, young Israelis and young Arabs."
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