Israeli ambassador accuses Tlaib of 'stoking tensions' over Al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli ambassador accuses Tlaib of 'stoking tensions' over Al-Aqsa mosque

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. criticized Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for “stoking tensions” with her comments about Israel’s deadly clashes with Hamas.

“Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib maybe you should open your eyes to the whole picture? Islam’s 3rd holiest site is being used to stockpile Molotov cocktails and rocks that are being lobbed at the police and at Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall, below the Temple Mount,” Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Congresswoman, instead of calling for peace and calm, your tweets are the stoking tensions,” Erdan wrote in another post. “Maybe you don’t realize that your words encourage terror groups such as Hamas to fire rockets into civilian populations and carry out attacks against Jews.”

Tlaib criticized Israel 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 is the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress.

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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.

Israel on Tuesday called on 5,000 reserve soldiers to help bolster its defenses as rockets continued to fly into its territory from Gaza, striking buildings and prompting warning sirens to wail in cities and towns throughout the region. 

On Monday night, 26 Palestinians — including nine children and a woman — were killed in Gaza, mostly by Israeli airstrikes, Gaza health officials said. The Israeli military said at least 16 of the dead were militants. During the same period, Gaza militants fired hundreds of rockets toward Israel, killing two Israeli civilians and wounding 10 others. 

Palestinians begin to clear rubble following Israeli airstrikes that destroyed a building belonging to the Hamas movement's, Al-Salah Charitable Association, in Deir Al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Palestinians begin to clear rubble following Israeli airstrikes that destroyed a building belonging to the Hamas movement’s, Al-Salah Charitable Association, in Deir Al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

An Egyptian intelligence official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Egypt is engaged in “intensive” talks with Israel and Gaza militants on reaching a cease-fire to end the latest round of violence. 

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The official said the efforts began in late April as the situation in Jerusalem worsened. He said Israeli actions, including the recent storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, have frustrated the mediators. 

Fox News’ inquiry to Tlaib’s office was not returned at the time of publication.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.