NEW YORK, JULY 25 – While events in Jerusalem may be taking place over a couple of hundred square meters in the Old City, they affect hundreds of millions of people around the world”, the UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov remarked today briefing the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. Mladenov, who will travel back to Jerusalem tomorrow, said that it is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday this week “as the dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayers without a resolution”.
Extreme concern over the spiral of tension and violence in Jerusalem and in all of the West Bank of the last few weeks has been expressed by the UN Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini. “We mourn the tragic loss of lives among the Palestinians, with several youth killed during the recent clashes, and we reaffirm the right to peacefully demonstrate”, Lambertini added, reiterating as well Italy’s condemnation of the July 14th terror attack that took place in the Old City of Jerusalem. “There is no justification for murders nor for glorification of violence, and therefore we welcome President Abbas’ clear condemnation of that attack. The deaths of the two policemen in the Old City of Jerusalem and those of the three Israelis in the Halamish settlement in the West Bank are also tragic”, he said.
Lambertini took note of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assurances that no changes to the status quo of the Holy Sites will be introduced, and stressed the special role of Jordan with regard to those Sites. He called on all parties to do their utmost to defuse the escalating violence, restore calm and uphold the status quo in the Holy Places in Jerusalem, in word and in practice. “The decision by the Israeli government to remove the metal detectors goes in the right direction. We call on Israel to further coordinate with Jordan all measures concerning the Holy Places, including with regard to the enhancement of security. We also stress the importance of maintaining security cooperation between Israel and Palestine”. @OnuItalia)