Japan said it is following the growing tensions between Israel and Palestine as violence surged over the past week near the Al-Aqsa mosque.
According to a statement released by the press secretary Ono Hikariko, “Since last month, acts of violence and clashes have led to a large number of casualties in Israel and Palestine, including in Jerusalem. Japan is following the growing tensions with grave concern.”
Israeli police and Palestinian youths clashed again at a major Jerusalem holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims on Friday despite a temporary halt to Jewish visits to the site, which are seen as a provocation by the Palestinians.
“Provocative actions that escalate tensions only work to exacerbate the situation. Japan strongly calls for restraint and stresses that the sanctity of the holy place should be respected,” the statement read.
Israel said on Thursday it was enforcing a long-standing ban on Jewish prayer at the compound of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, rejecting an Arab League accusation that it was allowing such worship to take place.
Violence at the compound, revered in Judaism as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, has surged over the past week, raising concerns about a slide back into wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict.