UN Warns of Escalation in Occupied Territories If No Solution by Friday
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – United Nations Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned on Monday that a solution was needed by Friday to the ongoing crisis in the occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds), which he said threatens to have "potential catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City."
"It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday," Mladenov told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council behind closed doors, Reuters reported.
"The dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution."
He also warned that the crisis was not a localized event.
"(It has) the potential to have catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City, well beyond Israel and Palestine, well beyond the Middle East itself," Mladenov said.
The 15-member Security Council met on the crisis at the request of Sweden, France and Egypt.
Sweden's Deputy UN Ambassador Carl Skau posted on Twitter after the meeting that Security Council members "agree on need for de-escalation, condemnation of violence and urgent dialogue to calm tensions in Jerusalem."
The Security Council is due to hold its quarterly Middle East briefing on Tuesday. Mladenov appealed to member states to "avoid further inflaming the situation" when they address the public meeting.
Israel installed metal detectors at entry points to al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem after two police guards were shot dead on July 14, triggering the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years.
The violence began on Friday, when Israeli security forces shot three demonstrators dead, Palestinian medics said. Israeli police said they were investigating the charge.
On the same day, a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis in the occupied West Bank after vowing on Facebook to take up his knife and heed "al-Aqsa's call."