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Iran Press TV

US asks Israel to 'deescalate' tensions in occupied al-Quds

Iran Press TV

Friday, 07 May 2021 8:38 PM

The United States has called on Israel to de-escalate tensions in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, and warned against carrying out forced evictions of Palestinian families.

"We're deeply concerned about the heightened tensions" in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said on Friday.

She said it was "critical" to "de-escalate tensions" and avoid any unilateral steps that could worsen the situation, such as "evictions, settlement activity and demolition."

"As we head into a sensitive period in the days ahead, it will be critical for all sides to ensure calm and act responsibly to deescalate tensions and avoid violent confrontation," Porter said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights slammed the Tel Aviv regime for planned evacuations of Arabs in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, saying that "if ordered and implemented, [they] would violate Israel's obligations under international law".

"We call on Israel to immediately halt all forced evictions, including those in Sheikh Jarrah, and to cease any activity that would further contribute to a coercive environment and lead to a risk of forcible transfer," Rupert Colville said on Friday.

The statements came after the acts of aggression committed by Israeli forces and settlers against Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds and a planned raid on al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, scheduled for Monday.

Tensions have escalated in Sheikh Jarrah in recent days amid Israeli court rulings that order a number of Palestinian families to evacuate their homes there.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but placed the enclave under siege.

Israeli forces used tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinians taking part in a weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum on Friday.

Scores of demonstrators suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas.

In the village of Beit Dajan, Israeli troops attacked a similar protest.

To the south of Nablus, Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound bombs at the Palestinians who attended Friday prayers on Sobeih Mountain in the town of Beita as calls were made to gather in the area to protest against the planned expansion of an Israeli settlement.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

After former US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Israel stepped up its settlement expansion in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounces settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds "a flagrant violation under international law."

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel's settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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