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Pope Francis calls for end to violence in Jerusalem

Pope Francis is pictured at the presidential palace in Baghdad on March 5, 2021 on the first papal visit to Iraq. - Pope Francis began his historic trip to war-scarred Iraq, defying security concerns and the coronavirus pandemic to comfort one of the world's oldest and most persecuted Christian communities. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pope Francis is pictured at the presidential palace in Baghdad on March 5, 2021 on the first papal visit to Iraq [VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images]

Pope Francis today called for an end to the violence in Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency reports.

Stating that he is monitoring the developments in Jerusalem anxiously, he urged the stakeholders to seek solutions while respecting the Holy City.

"Holy city's multi-religious and multi-cultural identity should be respected. Violence breeds violence, stop clashes," he told pilgrims gathered at Saint Peter's Square in Rome.

Palestinians in recent days have protested in solidarity with residents of East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood with Israeli police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

The protests came as the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favour of Israeli settlers at the beginning of this year.

READ: Hamas calls for Palestine resistance to be ready for Israel's escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Friday evening, using stun grenades and gas bombs. Women were also targeted by Israeli forces, according to witnesses.

At least 290 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since Friday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims.

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.

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