The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about the events and called on all sides to work to de-escalate them. It also expressed concern about the evictions.
“It’s critical to avoid unilateral steps that would exacerbate tensions or take us further away from peace. And that would include evictions, settlement activity, and home demolitions,” US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters in Washington.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders said that the United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward.
More than 200 Palestinians were wounded outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem as Israeli police fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades towards rock-hurling protesters.
Tens of thousands of worshippers had earlier packed Islam’s third-holiest site on the final Friday of Ramadan and many stayed on to protest against Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Palestinians have staged a series of sit-ins in the area in recent days denouncing Israeli orders for them to vacate their homes. Israeli security forces have attacked the sit-ins using skunk water, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and shock grenades. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested.