Riyadh Saturday hit out at Israel's "brutal aggression" which killed seven Palestinians in the compound of the holy mosques in Jerusalem, and called on the international community to take steps to prevent violations of Islamic holy sites.
"Saudi Arabia condemns the brutal aggression perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians in Jerusalem, which is a flagrant violation of the most elementary principles of international conventions," said an official spokesman, quoted by the SPA news agency.
Clashes first broke out in the mosque compound Thursday, following a controversial visit by Israeli right wing leader Ariel Sharon, followed by more serious violence Friday in which 220 people were injured in addition to those killed.
The Saudi spokesman described Sharon's visit as "an affront to the feelings of the Palestinian people and the Islamic nation, and a violation of the sacred nature of the Islamic places" in Jerusalem.
He called on the international community to "take measures to guarantee the protection of the holy places in Jerusalem against such violations," saying the Arab-Israeli peace process depended on the Palestinian people recovering "their national rights, in particular the right to establish and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital."
The area, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, is the third most sacred site in Islam, but for the Jews, who call it Temple Mount, it is also the site of the temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and their holiest place.
It lies in the old city, the heart of east Jerusalem, captured and annexed by Israel in 1967, the sector over which the Palestinians are demanding sovereignty in any peace deal.
Saudi King Fahd said in a statement published in Saturday's edition of the daily Al-Watan that Israel "is making a mistake in hindering the peace process" and "imagining that by its obstinacy it is able to wipe out or marginalia Palestinian rights.” – RIYADH (AFP)
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