Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has accused the UN Security Council of shirking its responsibilities towards occurrences in Palestine and the Middle East.
During a speech at the emergency ministerial meeting of the Arab League, on Tuesday, Shoukry said that the Egyptian efforts “are not limited to calming the situation in Jerusalem.”
He indicated that the current confrontation did not break out from a vacuum, but rather against the background of the complete absence of every political horizon for the settlement of the Palestinian issue.
He noted that settlement should have taken place through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Shoukry considered that such crises “will be repeated as long as the main issue is not resolved, which will not disappear once ignored, and settling the main issue is the responsibility of the international community.”
He said that Egypt had hoped the UN Security Council would issue a position, on Monday, that reflects its awareness of the seriousness of the clashes currently ongoing in the Middle East. Unfortunately the Council has consistently shirked its responsibilities, he said, and as a result has lost its credibility.
Shoukry affirmed, “Violating the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in these blessed days, and in this way, is a provocation to the feelings of the faithful throughout the Islamic world.”
The minister warned Israel, “People do not forget, and a true and solid peace in the Middle East requires peoples’ acceptance of it.”
He added, “I do not think that violating the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, or displacing Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, will contribute to the achievement and development of such acceptance.”
Shoukry revealed that Egypt has made extensive moves in recent days to contain the situation in Jerusalem, as it has conveyed messages to Israel and all the active states.
“However, we did not find the necessary response, and Egypt is still conducting intensive contacts with all international and regional actors in order to ensure the calm of the situation in Al-Quds Al-Sharif,” he added, “Egypt calls for an end to this escalation against the Palestinian people, and the Israeli authorities assume their responsibilities in accordance with the rules of international law to provide the necessary protection for Palestinian civilians and to safeguard their rights to freely and safely practice their religious rites.”
Shoukry said that Egypt also calls on the Israeli authorities to stop any practices that violate the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy month of Ramadan. This includes targeting the Arab identity of Jerusalem and its holy sites, or activities that seek to displace its people, especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
The minister called on all Arab countries to continue to line up and join hands at this critical moment “to confront any intentions or plans to change the status quo in the city of Jerusalem, and to make all sincere efforts to help the Palestinian people establish their state and gain their freedom”.