The United States on Monday condemned “all acts of violence” at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount site where Palestinians clashed with Israeli police for a second straight day.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount. We strongly condemn all acts of violence,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said, calling on all sides to exercise restraint.
“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve unchanged the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount, in word and in practice,” Kirby said.
The State Department statement came after Jordan’s king warned Israel that any further provocation would damage ties between the two countries.
The kingdom, which has custodian rights over the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, on Sunday condemned what it described as an Israeli army assault on the site.
Muslims and Israeli police clashed for a second day Monday as Jews celebrated their new year and protesters vowed to protect Islam’s third-holiest site.
As on Sunday, Israeli security forces entered the compound to prevent Muslim youths from targeting visiting Jews, police said.
Muslims have barricaded themselves inside Al-Aqsa amid protests over access to the site, venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Police on Sunday discovered pipe bombs during what they said was a preemptive operation at the Mount as Israel geared up to celebrate the Jewish new year. The police said they had thwarted a premeditated effort to carry out attacks on Jews at Rosh Hashanah.
Two people – a policeman and a young Jewish man — were hurt Monday morning when clashes resumed at the Temple Mount for the second consecutive day. Nine people were also arrested.
Five people were detained on the Mount after masked Muslim protesters attacked police with stones and metal rods, wounding the policeman, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported. The policeman was treated at the site.