Brussels, May 11th, 2021 – Both the United States and the European Union have condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza as tension between Israel and the Islamic terrorist groups in Gaza escalates to the most critical level since 2014. In a statement on Monday, EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret said “the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel is totally unacceptable and needs to stop.” In a separate statement, the US Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken also demanded that “rocket attacks on Israel must stop immediately.” Still, on Tuesday morning there was no ceasefire in sight, as the terrorist group Hamas threated further escalation. According to media reports, the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar have contacted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh demanding he prevent further violence.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell commended the Israeli government for taking measures to de-escalate the tension while at the same time defending itself militarily against the barrage of rockets fired against its civilian population. The government ordered the rerouting of the Jerusalem flag march on Monday night to avoid further confrontations with Palestinian protesters, and has temporarily prevented Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.
“These measures of moderation and self-restraint reveal once more why Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is the best guarantee for religious freedom and dignity for people of all faiths and why we can never again allow Jerusalem to be monopolized by only one faith”, he said.
During the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem from 1949-1967 no Jews were allowed to visit their holy sites. By contrast, when East Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967 the Old City was made accessible for people of all faiths and none. It is estimated that up to one hundred thousand Muslims prayed on the Temple Mount this past weekend.
The growing violence among mostly young Palestinians also puts the spotlight on the indoctrination of Jew-hatred and the systematic incitement to violence caused by Palestinian school textbooks, a serious problem recently condemned by a resolution of the European Parliament.
“The international community has a responsibility to promote peace and co-existence in the Holy City and any educational material which does not comply with these values and principles needs to be removed from the curriculum and replaced with material which is compatible with UNESCO guidelines for peace and tolerance. Only this way can we secure a peaceful future for Jerusalem”, Sandell concluded.