“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid,” Omar wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and other members of the progressive so-called “Squad” advocated for Palestinians after Israeli police and Palestinians clashed Friday at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a major holy site sacred to Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem. Tlaib targeted some of her statements at President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, questioning the White House’s reasoning for providing aid to Israel.
“I was 7 years old when I first prayed at the Al Aqsa with my sity [sic]. It’s a sacred site for Muslims. This is equivalent to attacking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, or the Temple Mount for Jews. Israel attacks it during Ramadan. Where’s the outrage @POTUS?” Tlaib wrote on Twitter.
“American taxpayer money is being used to commit human rights violations. Congress must condition the aid we send to Israel, and end it altogether if those conditions are not followed. Statements aren’t working @SecBlinken. Enough is enough,” she wrote in a separate tweet.
Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress.
Omar took a similar stance.
“This is happening as Muslims pray tarawih [and] tahajud in Palestine. Families who pray all night during Ramadan, the mosque is like home. Palestinians deserve to find refuge in a mosque and peace in Ramadan. Where is the media coverage? [Speak] up against Israeli occupation terror,” Omar wrote on Twitter on Saturday along with a video of the violence.
Omar also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” citing a New York Times story about evictions of Arabs in East Jerusalem.
“This deputy mayor is describing ethnic cleansing here, yet everyone is the West is pretending that’s not what’s happening to Palestinians. It’s reprehensible,” Omar wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Israeli police firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets clashed with stone-throwing Palestinians at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site on Monday, the latest in a series of confrontations that threatened to push the contested city toward wider conflict.
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Monday, May. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
More than 305 Palestinians were hurt Monday, including 228 who went to hospitals and clinics for treatment, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Seven of the injured were in serious condition. Police said 21 officers were hurt, including three who were hospitalized.
Monday’s confrontation was the latest after weeks of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Old City of Jerusalem, the emotional center of their conflict. The clashes have come during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, already a time of heightened religious sensitivities.
Most recently, the tensions have been fueled by an eviction plan in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers have waged a lengthy legal battle to take over properties.
“I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem who are being forcibly removed from their homes — in the middle of a pandemic, during Ramadan. This is unacceptable,” another “Squad” member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., shared a similar message.
“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem,” she wrote on Twitter. “Israeli forces are forcing families from their homes during Ramadan and inflicting violence. It is inhumane and the US must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had a far more neutral tone when asked about the conflict during Monday’s news briefing.
“We are continuing to closely monitor the violence in Israel. We have serious concerns about the situation, including violent confrontations that we’ve seen over the last few days. As you noted, an escalation earlier today,” Psaki said.
“In a call over the weekend with his Israeli counterpart, our national security advisor Jake Sullivan reiterated concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes. And they agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned. So this is something that our national security team is closely monitoring, obviously across government. Certainly, the president is kept abreast and is watching closely as well,” she continued.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this report.