BERLIN (AP) – Latest news continued violence between Israel and the belligerent rulers of Hamas in Gaza (always local):
BERLIN. Iranian Foreign Minister canceled a planned visit to his Austrian counterpart in Vienna. The decision came after the Austrian Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry raised the Israeli flag in solidarity in Israel’s conflict with the militant group Hamas.
The Austrian daily Die Presse reported on Saturday that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is due to meet with Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg on Saturday morning. But he canceled the trip due to the decision of the Austrian leadership to carry the Israeli flag on Friday.
The Austrian Press Agency reported that Schallenberg spokeswoman Claudia Tuertscher confirmed the report. She said, “We’re sorry about that.”
In recent weeks, negotiations have been underway in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States back to a 2015 nuclear deal designed to allay fears over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and China are still parties to this agreement.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi tweeted on Friday that Austria “has been a great place to negotiate so far,” but it was “shocking and painful to see the flag of the occupation regime that brutally killed dozens of innocent civilians, including many children. … just a few days, through the government offices in Vienna. “
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia has called on the foreign ministers of the world’s largest community of Muslim countries to meet on Sunday. The meeting is intended to discuss Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians and the use of force by Israeli police against demonstrators in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The kingdom will host a virtual summit bringing together ministers from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation “to discuss Israeli aggression in Palestinian territory,” in particular the violence around the Al-Aqsa mosque, the agency said on Saturday.
The OIC, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, includes the countries of Iran, Turkey, Indonesia and a number of Muslim-majority countries.
The sacredness of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, is a delicate and worrisome issue for Muslims around the world. The OIC was established 51 years ago in response to an arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in east Jerusalem by Jewish extremists.
The top of the hill, on which the mosque stands, is also sacred to the Jews, who revere it as the Temple Mount because the biblical temples were located here. Some Jews and Evangelical Christians are supporting the construction of a new Jewish temple on the site, a concept that worries Muslims because they fear it will result in the division or demolition of the mosque.
RAMALLA, West Bank – Palestinians have begun gathering in the occupied West Bank to mark the anniversary of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from what is now Israel during the 1948 war of its creation.
Nakba Day, which means “disaster” in Arabic, comes amid widespread Jewish-Arab violence in Israel and fierce fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza. The main event on Saturday took place in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home to the headquarters of the internationally supported Palestinian Authority.
On Friday, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank held some of the largest protests in years and clashed with Israeli forces, who shot and killed 11 people, including a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier in a military position.
About 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war. Today they and their descendants number about 5.7 million, and they mostly live in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.