US says Israelis, Palestinians owed equal freedom, security

Israelis and Palestinian “deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity,” the White House said Tuesday amid spiraling violence.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters the Biden administration has “spoken candidly with Israeli officials about how evictions of Palestinian families who have lived for years, sometimes decades, in their homes, and of demolitions of these homes work against our common interests in achieving a solution to the conflict.”

“In the coming days as Muslims gather with families and friends to celebrate Eid and Jews join together to mark the beginning of Shabbat, let us affirm that all people of faith deserve to enjoy these important celebrations without fear of violence, and work toward peace and calm for all,” Psaki said.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem after an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families. The ruling has been appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court, which has delayed a hearing on the case.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces. ​​​​​​

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israeli authorities have harassed and attacked worshippers in the midst of prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest in Islam, and have threatened to evict dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.

Tension spread from East Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip after Palestinian groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for the raids on Al-Aqsa, and potential resident removals in Sheikh Jarrah.

As of late Tuesday, Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 28 Palestinians, including nine children, and injured 152 others. At least two Israelis have been killed in rocket attacks.

Psaki said US President Joe Biden’s “support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people is fundamental and will never waiver,” condemning Palestinian rocket attacks. But she did not comment on Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

“We condemn ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas, and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem. We also stand against extremism that has inflicted violence on both communities. Jerusalem, a city of such importance to people of faith around the world, must be a place of coexistence,” she said.

Sourc:e: Anadolu Agency