Israel asked the United States not to intervene in the Jerusalem crisis or pressure Tel Aviv to stop the recent “escalation in violence” between the Israeli security forces and Palestinian civilians in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Axios reported on Monday.
According to the site, although the White House has avoided clashing with Israel over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Jerusalem crisis that erupted over the weekend prompted many members of Congress and progressive organisations to weigh in and demand the White House intervene.
Axios added that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday called his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat and raised concerns about tensions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, where 500 Palestinians are under threat of eviction from their homes, the White House said.
According to the White House, Sullivan “encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations” being held on Monday.
However, Israeli officials briefed on the call said Ben Shabbat told Sullivan that Israel believes the Biden administration and the rest of the international community should stay out of the crisis in Jerusalem and avoid pressing Israel.
Israeli attacks on Palestinian protesters demanding an end to the forced displacement of families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for illegal settlers have intensified over the past week. Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on numerous occasions, shot and abused Palestinian worshippers as they prayed the nightly Ramadan prayers. In response, resistance factions fired rockets into Israel. Israel, which continuously strikes the besieged Gaza Strip throughout the year, then increased its attacks and levelled numerous housing blocks, and killed 35 Palestinians including ten children. Five Israelis have also been killed.
Israeli occupation authorities have also closed off Gaza’s fishing waters and blocked all crossing in and out of the Strip, imprisoning its two million population. Some 60,000 people have been affected by the arbitrary sea closures. Previous reports have shown that at least 90 per cent of Gaza’s fishermen live below the poverty line.