Israel rejects call for international presence

2015-10-16 20:48
(Adel Hana, AP)

(Adel Hana, AP)

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New York - Israel on Friday rejected Palestinian calls for a protection force to be deployed in east Jerusalem to quell violence around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque.

"Let me be crystal clear - Israel will not agree to any international presence on the Temple Mount. Such a presence would be a change in the status quo," Israeli deputy Ambassador David Roet told the UN Security Council.

The 15-member council met in an emergency session to discuss weeks of escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the territories.

Weeks of violence

Palestinians on Friday torched a Jewish holy site in the West Bank as they staged a "Friday of revolution" against Israel and a man posing as a news photographer stabbed an Israeli soldier before he was shot dead.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "strongly condemns this reprehensible act and calls on those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice," assistant Secretary General Taye-Brook Zerihoun told the council.

Israeli security forces deployed massively in Jerusalem after two weeks of violence that have left 39 Palestinians dead and hundreds more wounded in clashes with Israeli forces.

Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens injured.

The violence began on October 1, when a suspected cell of the Islamist movement Hamas murdered a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.

Those killings followed repeated clashes at east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound in September between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths.

Draft resolution

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour this week said the situation was "very explosive" on the ground and that the Security Council must find ways of "providing protection" to the Palestinians.

"The situation warrants providing protection for our people in the occupied territory starting in the Old City of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque," he told reporters.

Mansour said the Arab countries were weighing a possible draft resolution that demands a withdrawal of Israeli security forces from flashpoint areas and calls for the deployment of the protection force at Al-Aqsa.

The Al-Aqsa compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.


Read more on:    un  |  us  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace

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