The UAE has summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest “attacks on civilians” and “incursions” into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the official WAM news agency said on Tuesday.
The move follows Israeli-Palestinian clashes in and around the holy site over the weekend that wounded 170 people, mostly Palestinian demonstrators at the hands of Israeli security forces.
The UAE was one of three Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, breaking with decades of Arab consensus that such ties should not precede a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Reem bint Ibrahim al-Hashemy, the UAE’s Minister of State for International Co-operation, conveyed to Israeli ambassador Amir Hayek “strong protest and denunciation of the events taking place in Jerusalem and Al- Aqsa Mosque,” WAM reported.
The UAE denounced “attacks on civilians and incursions into holy places that resulted in the injury of a number of civilians”.
Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, lies in Jerusalem’s Israeli-annexed Old City. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.
The UAE minister also “expressed concern over the escalation of tension that threatens stability and security in the region” and “underscored the need to respect” the role of Jordan as the custodian of east Jerusalem’s holy sites.
Until 2020, Jordan and Egypt were the only Arab countries to normalise ties with Israel.
Similar Israeli-Palestinian violence in and around Al-Aqsa last year triggered an escalation that resulted in an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.