Pakistan condemns storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers | The Express Tribune

Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the storming of the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli occupying forces, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

It said that the provocative action has blatantly violated the sanctity of the Qibla-e-Awal and hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world.

“Such incidents are flagrant violations of international law, international norms and practices. Any attempt to change the historical and legal status of Al-Aqsa Mosque must stop,” the statement added.

The FO called upon the international community to take urgent action to put an end to the Israeli aggression and violations, which continue to fuel violence, tension and instability in the region.

Read more: Death toll mounts as Israel strikes Gaza for third consecutive day

“For a lasting and just solution of the Palestinian issue, Pakistan renews its call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions,” the statement further said.

The death toll from violence in Gaza rose to 32, including six children, on Sunday according to Palestinian health officials as Israel continued its assault on the territory for the third consecutive day. More than 215 others were wounded in the attacks.

An Israeli airstrike also killed a second senior commander of a Palestinian armed group, the fighters said today. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) retaliated with barrages of rockets fired at Israel as the country pressed on with its assault on Gaza.

Read Pakistan condemns Israeli air strikes on Gaza

The killing late Saturday of Khaled Mansour, who led the Islamic Jihad’s operations in the southern Gaza Strip, came a day after another Israeli strike killed the militant’s commander in the north.

Reuters, quoting sources, earlier reported that Israel and Palestinian militants have agreed to a truce in Gaza from Sunday evening as mediated by Cairo.

An Egyptian security source said Israel had agreed to the proposal, while a Palestinian official familiar with Egyptian efforts said the ceasefire would go into effect at 20:00 (1900 GMT).

Spokespeople for Israel and Islamic Jihad, the faction it has been fighting in Gaza since clashes erupted on Friday, did not confirm this, saying only that they were in contact with Cairo.

With additional input from Reuters

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