NEW YORK: Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour has told the Security Council that al-Aqsa Mosque compound crisis in East Jerusalem is at a tipping point, urging the council members to help protect Palestinians and their holy sites from Israel’s “reckless and destructive agenda”.
Mansour warned in his speech to the Council that, “The stoking of a religious conflict is rapidly unfolding as Israel persists its illegal actions in occupied East Jerusalem.” He accused Israel of “aggressive behaviour and provocative violation” of the historic status quo at the Muslim-administered al-Aqsa Mosque compound, referring to a brief closure of the holy site after a deadly shooting there that was followed by installation of CCTV cameras and metal detectors. “We are clearly at the tipping point. We must therefore again warn against the dangers of such provocations and incitement, and fuelling of yet another cycle of violence which will surely have far-reaching consequences,” he said.
Meanwhile, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov warned that recent developments at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the East Jerusalem have reflected that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could engulf rest of the region.
Nickolay Mladenov, again emphasized that, “Settlement activity in occupied territory by Israel is illegal under international law. It will undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.” The UN envoy stressed all the parties to show restraint to promptly end the crisis.
On the other hand, US State Department, Spokeswoman Heather Nauert has said that senior US diplomats are trying hard to de-escalate the situation erupted after an Israeli decision to install metal detectors at the site of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem
At a press briefing at the State Department, Nauert reiterated that, “US policy supports the status quo at the site. US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, Special Envoy to President Trump, are shuttling between Jordon and Israel and have spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the recent situation.” The Spokesman said, “Greeblatt had spoken to the Israeli Prime Minister and was also spending time in Jordon as he was working very hard to try to de-escalate the tensions, which was the US priority.
The US State Department and the White House were working closely on the issue.”
Asked to comment on the Israeli decision to install metal detractors, she said, “US support anything that serves to de-escalate tensions and pave the road for the two sides to come together and talks about the peace process moving forward. We support the maintenance of the status quo at that site and welcome all sides and their commitment to the status quo.”
Asked to comment on the Israeli decision to remove the metal detectors and replace them high-tech cameras that had also been discussed between Israel and Jordon but objected by the Palestinians, the Spokesperson said, “The US would leave that to those parties to decide what works for them.”
“Ultimately it goes with the peace process, ultimately, it’s their decision to make. Both parties have to be able to live with it and be able to work with it. We are merely here as a supporter, a facilitator of peace, and that’s not going to change, but they have to be able to work together,” she added.
The Spokesperson observed that, “Following the decision to remove the detectors, tensions was seemed to be lessening and that the US was pleased to note that. It looks like it’s going in the right direction right now.”
On the ground in East Jerusalem, Muslim leaders urged the faithful to keep up their prayer protests outdoors and avoid entering the compound, even after Israel dismantled metal detectors that initially triggered the tensions.
Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, said that the move does not fulfill the demands of the Muslim worshippers as the security cameras remain.
Sheikh Raed Saleh, an Al-Aqsa official, said that the Palestinians would “never accept the current status, unless everything that was added after July 14 was removed.
“The picture until this moment is not clear. They are doing it in the middle of the night, in the cover of darkness, like bats. God knows what we are going to wake up to the next morning,” Saleh said.
Dozens of Muslim worshippers continued to perform prayers in the streets outside the compound. As the metal detectors were being removed, hundreds of Palestinians protested against the security cameras that remained in place
Israel said it would replace the metal detectors with new security arrangements based on “advanced technology,” reportedly including sophisticated cameras, but said it could take up to six months to install them.
On Tuesday evening the Israeli security forces used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of Palestinian worshippers outside the compound. NNI
ISLAMABAD: A sports revolution is the need of the hour for the country's esteem; this was stated by Senator Irfan-ul-Haq...Read more