Israeli police said more than 200 Palestinians and 17 policemen were injured in clashes on Friday, after authorities cracked down on Palestinian authorities as Palestinian worshipers gathered to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem during Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims, Israel newspaper Haaretz reported. Many worshipers remained after praying to protest on behalf of Palestinians currently facing evictions from Israeli settlers.
“The United States must firmly denounce the violence of Israeli extremists allied with the government in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and make it clear that expulsions of Palestinian families must not continue,” Sanders tweeted on Saturday.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, shared a similar message on Saturday.
“The forcible displacement of longtime Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah is heinous and unacceptable. The administration should make the Israeli government understand that these expulsions are illegal and must stop immediately, ”the progressive senator wrote.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, said “we stand in solidarity with Palestinian residents” in the face of the eviction.
“Israeli forces force families to leave their homes during Ramadan and inflict violence on them. It is inhumane and the United States must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians, ”Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Democratic representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan also shared their concerns, criticizing the response from police and Israeli settlers. Tlaib was the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress in 2018, while she and Omar were also the first two Muslim women elected to the lower house.
“There is no reason, no reason to attack people while they pray or seek medical attention – other than to dehumanize and terrorize them,” Tlaib tweeted on Saturday, sharing a video showing Israeli forces. firing stun grenades at a medical facility.
“It happens as Muslims pray taraweeh and tahajud in Palestine. Families who pray all night during Ramadan, the mosque is like home. Palestinians deserve to find refuge in a mosque and peace during Ramadan, ”Omar wrote. “Where’s the media coverage? “
Omar retweeted a clip of what appeared to be tear gas fired at Al-Aqsa.
In response to a request for comment, the State Department emailed Newsweek a statement by spokesperson Ned Price.
“The United States is extremely concerned about the ongoing clashes in Jerusalem, including over the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount and Sheikh Jarrah, which have reportedly left dozens injured,” Price said.
“There is no excuse for the violence, but such a bloodbath is particularly worrying now, as it does in the last days of Ramadan. This includes Friday’s attack on Israeli soldiers and the reciprocal cost-price attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, which we condemn in no uncertain terms, ”he added.
The official urged the Israelis and Palestinians to “ease tensions and end the violence”.
Newsweek contacted Israel’s Foreign Ministry for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
Israel has dismissed the potential evictions of the six Palestinian families as a real estate dispute. The Middle East Nation’s Supreme Court is expected to rule on Monday whether Israeli settlers can force the eviction of families who have long resided in Sheikh Jarrah, according to Le New York Times.
Meanwhile, Haaretz reported on Saturday that tens of thousands of Palestinians again rallied by Al-Aqsa as the clashes continued.
In a late April report, Human Rights Watch criticized the Israeli government for its treatment of Palestinians. The report alleged that part of the mistreatment inflicted on Palestinians by the Israelis amounts to “the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”
In response to the report, President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the United States had not classified the situation in the same way. “As to whether Israel’s actions constitute apartheid, that is not the view of this administration,” Psaki said on April 27.