Iran strongly condemns Israeli 'terrorism' in Mideast

Iran has strongly condemned Israel's siege of the al-Aqsa Mosque and its crackdown on Palestinian worshipers, saying the regime is the source of terrorism in the region.  

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Sunday also called on world nations and governments to support "the oppressed Palestinians and counter inhuman measures and aggression of the usurping Zionists."

He touched on a "continued mass abduction of the Palestinian people by usurious Zionists and their crimes, aggressions and violations of the basic rights of Palestinians, in particular restrictions put on religious freedom and access to holy places" in Jerusalem al-Quds. 

The crackdown "shows that the oppressed Palestine is still the first issue of the Islamic world and the Zionist regime acts as the manifestation, source, and origin of state terrorism and panic in the region," Qassemi said.

He also criticized the regional states for their silence and inaction in the face of the Israeli crackdown, asking the international community, especially the United Nations, "to urgently address the unfortunate developments in the occupied territories and firmly stand against the oppression, racial discrimination and religious discrimination policies of the Zionist regime."

"We also call on the international community and human rights organizations, including the UN Human Rights Council and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to act in accordance with their duty to confront and decisively condemn the inhuman and anti-cultural policies of the Zionist regime which are against human rights principles," he added.

Tensions broke out in the occupied territories on July 14, when a deadly shooting took place outside the Haram al-Sharif which Jews call Temple Mount.

Following the incident, Israeli police briefly shut down the al-Aqsa compound in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and canceled Muslim Friday prayers at the holy site.

Israel reopened the compound on July 16, but with metal detectors and surveillance cameras put up at entrances.

Palestinians say Israel’s fresh restrictions at al-Aqsa are meant to expand the regime’s control over the highly-sensitive site and change its status quo.

The occupied lands have been volatile ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into al-Aqsa two years ago.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.