UN urged to convene over situation at Masjid Al-Aqsa


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 24 July 2017|29 Shawaal 1438

Sweden, France and Egypt, on Saturday, asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to meet regarding tensions surrounding Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The three countries, all current members of the Council, “request UNSC to urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported”, Carl Skau, spokesperson for Sweden’s mission to the UN, wrote on Twitter.

No official announcement has been made but the council is expected to address the request Monday.

The Middle East Quartet of Russia, the U.S., the EU and the UN issued a statement Saturday that expressed great concern for “the escalating tensions and violent clashes” in and around the Old City, where the revered place of worship is located.

“Noting the particular sensitivities surrounding the holy sites in Jerusalem, and the need to ensure security, the Quartet envoys call on all to demonstrate maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work towards de-escalating the situation,” the statement said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday condemned the clashes in which Israeli forces killed three Palestinians.

At least 57 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police outside Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Red Crescent said Saturday.

Anger has spilled across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque, venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it Temple Mount, following a deadly shootout.

The mosque was reopened after a two-day closure, with Israel installing metal detectors at the mosque’s gates thst Palestinians say aim to change the status quo — a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights.

Israel refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.

The city of Jerusalem is sacred to members of all three faiths — Muslims, Jews, and Christians — and the Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the Islamic world’s third-holiest site.

Source – Anadolu Agency