Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned Israeli attacks on Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem that led to the region's most intense hostilities in years.
At least 49 people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, according to international media reports. Six people have been killed in Israel by rockets fired by Hamas, an Islamist group that controls Gaza.
In a letter to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hasina expressed “deep sadness and concern” about the recent attacks of “terrorist nature and violence unleashed on the innocent devotees at al-Aqsa mosque compound.”
The violence was also fuelled by evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and transfer of civilian population into occupied territories by the occupying Israeli forces.
These expose “severe violation of human rights, international laws, and accords which have immensely civic feelings across the world,” the prime minister said in the letter dated Tuesday.
The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site.
Tensions were particularly high as Israel was marking Jerusalem Day, its annual celebrations of the capture of East Jerusalem and the walled Old City that is home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy places. It nearly coincided with Islam’s holy night of Laylat al-Qadr.
The heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war in the Hamas-ruled enclave has increased international concern that the situation could spiral out of control.
“While expressing our deep condolences to the victims and sympathies to our Palestinian brothers, we unequivocally denounce such acts of terror and violence,” Hasina wrote.
She urged the international community to take “sustainable measures to end such kinds of acts anywhere and everywhere in the world, including Palestine.”
“I take this opportunity to reiterate Bangladesh’s unflinching commitment in realising the inalienable rights of the brotherly people of Palestine for an independent homeland and a sovereign and available State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”