Jerusalem, Apr 24 (EFE).- Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid on Sunday blamed the violence taking place at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound on the Islamist movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“Terrorist organizations have been trying to hijack the al-Aqsa Mosque in order to create an outbreak of violence in Jerusalem, and from there, a violent conflict across the country,” Lapid said during a briefing to foreign press.
“Hamas and Islamic Jihad extremists burst into al-Aqsa Mosque in the early mornings, again and again,” he added.
Tensions have been on the rise in the region following clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the al-Aqsa mosque compound on two consecutive Fridays, which left over 200 Palestinians injured.
The Palestinian authorities, the Arab world, and the United Nations have condemned Israel’s “excessive” use of force against Palestinians.
But Lapid stressed that the response of the police was “measured and proportionate.”
“They brought weapons into the Mosque. They threw rocks and explosives from within it and used it as a base to incite violent riots,” he said.
After Gaza launched six rockets into the Israeli territory last week, Lapid said that Israel has “zero-tolerance” for such actions.EFE