Islamic Relief Canada is appalled that more than 150 Palestinians have been injured in violence during Ramadan prayers at Al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
Israeli forces entered the site just before Friday prayers in the second week of Ramadan. Dozens of Palestinians were reportedly injured with rubber bullets, stun grenades and batons. Three Israeli soldiers were also reportedly wounded by stones.
The injuries at Al Aqsa come amid escalating tensions and violence across the region in recent weeks, which have killed 14 Israelis and 25 Palestinians. Islamic Relief Canada strongly condemns all attacks on civilians and is calling for a lasting solution rooted in justice and international law, including an end to the Israeli occupation.
Usama Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief Canada says:
“This is a time when people of all faiths should be able to celebrate the converging festivals of Ramadan, Passover and Easter in peace and safety. The right of people to worship freely and safely must be upheld.
We condemn all indiscriminate violence against civilians and urge all involved to bring an immediate end to the recent escalation that has killed both Israelis and Palestinians. All parties and the wider international community must address the deep-rooted injustices of the occupation that Palestinians face on a daily basis. To achieve lasting peace for everyone, there must be an end to the occupation.”
There were similar clashes at Al Aqsa last Ramadan, and this quickly led to a significant escalation across Gaza and the West Bank. Nearly 300 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,500 wounded; 12 Israelis were killed and more than 100 wounded.
Islamic Relief has worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1997. Last year our programmes in Gaza helped nearly 400,000 people with essential medical care, access to education and skills training for unemployed youth.