World, Middle East

UN urges respect of status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem

UN Special Middle East coordinator calls political, religious leaders to 'act now' on tensions, violence in Jerusalem

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 08.05.2021
UN urges respect of status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem Israeli police intervene in Muslim worshippers with stun grenades and plastic bullets in Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, on May 7, 2021 in East Jerusalem ( Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency )


A UN peace envoy said Saturday that he was "deeply concerned" by heightened tensions and violence in and around Jerusalem. 

"Deeply concerned by the heightened tensions & violence in & around #Jerusalem. I call on all to act responsibly & maintain calm. All must respect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City in the interest of peace & stability. Political & religious leaders must act now," Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said on Twitter.

Wennesland’s comments followed a raid Friday by Israeli police at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades and gas bombs.

The number of injured rose to 178 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus Gate of the Old City and the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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