Hamas leader Izzat al Rishq has said that his organisation is in mediation efforts to prevent an escalation with Israel, but warned that "Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque are a red line".
Palestinian group Hamas has said it is communicating with the UN and regional countries to avoid escalation with Israel amid rising tensions in occupied East Jerusalem.
Hamas leader Izzat al Rishq said on Saturday that his organisation had sent messages to mediators that "Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque are a red line and that any provocation will be met with confrontation.”
Hamas “does not seek a new war in Gaza,” a Hamas statement quoted al Rishq as saying.
“The resistance is following all developments, and has its hand on the trigger.”
“We are one people, and if our holy sites are violated, our people in all areas will have the duty to defend them," he added.
READ MORE: Palestinians protest Israeli aggression on Al Aqsa Mosque compound
Attacks on Islam’s third holiest site
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh held phone calls with Egyptian officials and the UN to discuss the situation at the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem.
Dozens of Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces attacked worshippers inside the courtyards of the Al Aqsa Mosque complex during dawn prayers on Friday amid rising tensions across Palestine.
Tensions have soared in recent weeks amid a series of deadly Israeli military raids across the occupied West Bank and deadly attacks in Israel.
The current tension has raised fears of a possible military confrontation between Hamas and Israel akin to last year when violent escalations in Jerusalem triggered the worst round of Israeli attacks on besieged Gaza, in which more than 260 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
Hamas is the governing authority of Gaza and holds a majority in the parliament of the Palestinian National Authority.
READ MORE: Israeli troops target worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque attack, scores injured