Arab foreign ministers urgent meeting on Jerusalem postponed

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Cairo, July 24 (IANS) The urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers on Jerusalem, originally scheduled on Wednesday, will be postponed till Thursday, the Arab League (AL) announced.

AL spokesman Mahmoud Afifi said on Sunday that the meeting, to be held at the AL headquarters here was postponed “to ensure the participation of the largest number of Arab foreign ministers”, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said the decision was taken upon contacts made around the clock, adding that coordination was made with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which agreed to hold its own ministerial meeting to address the same issue next week.

The meeting of Arab foreign ministers will discuss Israeli aggression on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, Afifi said in an statement earlier on Sunday.

Tensions between Israel and Palestinians have been rising since July 14 when Israel installed checkpoints and metal detectors at the entrances of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after three Israeli Arab gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen near the site. The three were later killed by the Israeli police.

Since then, clashes have been erupting between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters at the gates of the mosque compound and elsewhere in West Bank.

In clashes on Friday, Israeli security forces killed three Palestinians and injured hundreds of others.

The AL has repeatedly condemned the Israeli practices at Al-Aqsa Mosque as a blatant breach of the right of worship and violation of relevant international laws and UN resolutions. Muslim countries denounced the Israeli measures as an attempt to alter the status quo and claim further control of the holy site.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known by Jews as the Temple Mount, is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for Jews. It has been a flashpoint site for Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the past decades since the 1967 Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem.

–IANS

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