KUWAIT: People hold up placards during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people at the Iradah Square in Kuwait City yesterday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT/JERUSALEM: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday condemned the occupation army’s “tragic escalation” against worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, describing it “inhumane.” HH the Amir reaffirmed Kuwait’s firm position against these “inhumane actions.” He called on the occupation authorities to cease these actions immediately and respect rights of the Palestinian people to exercise their rituals in Al-Quds.

The State of Kuwait, reiterated HH the Amir, stands by the Palestinian people and supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian cause, in order to enable the Palestinian people establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in line with UN resolutions and Arab peace initiative.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people turned out yesterday afternoon for a demonstration in Iradah Square in protest against the Zionist violence against Palestinians. Separately, 10 Kuwaiti MPs yesterday submitted a motion calling to hold a special Assembly session to condemn the crimes committed by the Zionist forces on Jerusalem and in the Sheikh Jarrah suburb.

In Palestine, occupation forces unleashed terror in Gaza yesterday, firing at civilians and killing at least 28 Palestinians in a dramatic escalation sparked by the earlier unrest at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Nine Palestinian children were among those killed by Zionist forces in the blockaded Gaza Strip and 125 people were wounded, local health authorities said. Occupation forces carried out 130 strikes by fighter jets and attack helicopters on military targets in the enclave, killing 15 commanders from Hamas, according to reports.

Rockets were launched from the coastal enclave yesterday as Hamas’ armed wing the Qassam Brigades vowed to turn the southern Jewish community of Ashkelon into “a hell”. Loud booms again rocked the town yesterday where a rocket had ripped a gaping hole into the side of an apartment block, a reporter said.

Nightly unrest at the Al-Aqsa compound in annexed east Jerusalem since Friday has left more than 700 Palestinians wounded, drawing international calls for de-escalation and sharp rebukes from across the Muslim world. The United Nations rights office said yesterday it was “deeply concerned” by the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights appealed for calm after several days of unrest.

Tensions in Jerusalem have flared into the city’s worst disturbances since 2017 after Zionist riot police attacked large crowds of Palestinian worshippers on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. “We are deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s office, told reporters in Geneva. “We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “all sides need to de-escalate, reduce tensions, take practical steps to calm things down”. Diplomatic sources said that Egypt and Qatar, who have mediated past conflicts, were attempting to calm tensions. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned the Gaza strikes as “indiscriminate and irresponsible … and a miserable display of force at the expense of children’s blood”.

The Kuwaiti Cabinet during its weekly meeting on Monday denounced Zionist entity’s continued construction of settlements and the forced displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah’s area. It stressed seriousness of continued building settlements which run counter to international law principles and endanger international efforts aiming to reach a final solution to the Middle East conflict as well as destabilize the region.

In this regard, the Cabinet welcomed the joint statement issued by Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain in which they called on the Zionist entity to suspend its decision on building further settlements and end settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank as well as halt the evacuation process in East Jerusalem mainly in Sheikh Jarrah district. – Agencies