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US calls for end to violence after Israeli escalation

Such bloodshed is especially disturbing now, coming as it does on the last days of Ramadan', says Ned Price.

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On Friday, the United States voiced extreme concern and called for an end to the violence following a raid by Israeli police on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

“The United States is extremely concerned about ongoing confrontations in Jerusalem, including on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and in Sheikh Jarrah, which have reportedly resulted in scores of injured people”, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“There is no excuse for violence, but such bloodshed is especially disturbing now, coming as it does on the last days of Ramadan. This includes Friday’s attack on Israeli soldiers and reciprocal ‘price tag’ attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, which we condemn in no uncertain terms”, said Price.

Washington calls on “Israeli and Palestinian officials to act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence”, he said.

“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount – in word and in practice”, he added.

Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday evening, using stun grenades and gas bombs.

The number of injured rose to more than 205 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Damascus Gate of the Old City and the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israeli police and right-wing activists have conducted violent acts against Palestinians in East Jerusalem since the beginning of Ramadan, resulting in protests from the international community.

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