Bangladesh’s top diplomat expressed concerns Saturday for attacks on Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli police in Jerusalem and condemned the violation during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
AK Abdul Momen said he wanted a peaceful environment for worshippers at the sacred place.
“The violence that took place at Al Aqsa mosque on Friday is a matter of great sadness. We do condemn this type of violence,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Israeli police attacked Muslim worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, leaving nearly 53 Palestinians injured in clashes inside the Haram al-Sharif area, the Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement.
The number of injuries rose to 285 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus Gate of Old City, and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, it said.
The violation was “unacceptable,” said Momen. “This type of violence is never acceptable. We expect all should restrain so that such incident never happens in any part of the [occupied] Palestinian land.”
He pointed to the sacred value of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and said holy places should be for worshipping and not fighting.
The mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
“We believe in the two-state solution to the Middle East crisis -- state of Israel and state of Palestine side by side,” said Momen as he underlined Bangladesh's stance on the situation,
But he added, however, that Bangladesh, one of the countries that have yet to make diplomatic ties with Israel, in principle believes that “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”
The envoy also condemned the violation in the month of Ramadan, especially on the eve of Layt-al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, the most sacred and holiest night in Ramadan.
According to media reports and previous records, Israel continued its intervention at regular intervals against Muslims at the mosque, while worshippers continued to perform tarawih -- special nightly prayers during Ramadan.
Long history of indemnity
Referring to the long history of indemnity to the Israeli occupation forces, a professor of International Relations at Dhaka University, Imtiaz Ahmed, told Anadolu Agency that Israel does not feel minimal hesitation in conducting violations against Palestinians.
“Israel knows very well that the Muslim Arab world is divided and they will do nothing against them,” said Ahmed.
Several Arab countries seemed to be in favor of Israel in most cases, he said. “The prevailing geopolitical environment in the middle-east is seemingly in favor of Israel and the whole Europe unilaterally supports the force.”
“Until and unless there is a unity among the Arab countries and a consensus in the Muslim world is developed against Israeli aggressions, we do not expect any change in the fate of the persecuted Palestinian Muslims.”
He, however, added that a mass awareness within Israel, especially among the new generation, may also bring a change in the long-persistent oppressive state policy of Israel.
Using global pandemic as an opportunity
Analyzing the conventional state policy of Israel, Ahmed said Israel has seized the opportunity of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This is the common characteristic of Israel that whenever they get an opportunity to launch an oppressive move against Palestinians, they do not delay,” he said.
Politically cunning Israel may also orchestrate the attack to divert attention from its internal crisis, he said.
“There is an internal crisis in Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to secure expected victory in the recent national polls of the country. So this attack may be a part of diverting people’s attention to Israel’s domestic crisis,” said Ahmed.
Bangladesh never supports illegal occupation
Speakers at a webinar on Friday held for Al- Quds, or Jerusalem Day, said Bangladesh never supports Israeli illegal occupation in Palestine.
Some referred to different Quranic verses and speeches of Islam’s last prophet, Muhammad. “It is the bounden duty of a Muslim to stand by another Muslim in time of hardship,” they said.
They urged the global community, especially the Muslim world, to unite against Israeli aggression and solve the Middle East crisis with justice and a humanitarian approach.
In a statement in November 2019, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry also declared its stance on the legal rights of Palestine.
“Bangladesh reiterates its unflinching support to Palestine and its territorial integrity as established through UNSC 242 and also other UNSC resolutions including UNSCR 338, 425, 1397, 1515 and 1544 and the principle of ‘land for peace.’”
It added: “The Security Council, the UNGA, the HRC, and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law.”
It confirmed Bangladesh’s support for the “inalienable rights of the People of Palestine” and said: “Bangladesh is convinced that there is no ambiguity about the illegal status of Israeli occupation and settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.”