The United Nations has expressed concerns over the situation at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (Al-Quds), caused by ongoing Israeli aggression.
The UN’s special Middle East coordinator, Robert Serry, said on Thursday that he was in contact with all sides “in an effort to defuse tensions.”
Israel deployed thousands of troops in the area after it closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound to Palestinians in a bid to allow a Jewish religious ceremony to be held in the compound.
“Incitement from any quarter regarding holy sites, as well as provocative actions in East Jerusalem (Al-Quds), do not serve the sanctity of the city or the cause of peace, and must stop,” he added.
“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has been very concerned at the recent clashes in Jerusalem (Al-Quds),” Serry said in a statement following a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
The UN envoy said that all parties involved have expressed their desire to see calm restored, adding that he hopes to see practical steps taken in this regard. “We cannot allow a further outbreak of violence or let extremists set the agenda,” he said.
“The way forward is for the parties to implement their Roadmap commitments and resume final status negotiations on the basis of the 1967 lines on all core issues, including Jerusalem (Al-Quds), in the framework of UN Security Council resolutions and previous agreements,” Serry said.
“Only this offers a route to lasting peace for both peoples and this holy city,” he concluded.