UNITED NATIONS July 21 (TNS): The United Nations envoy on Middle East peace has called for de-escalation of the situation around the holy esplanade of Jerusalem’s Old City. He expressed deep concern over a surge in tensions and violence.
“I call on all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation and on moderate voices to speak up against those who try to fuel tensions,” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement.
He welcomed the commitment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to uphold and respect the status quo at the City’s holy sites, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ firm condemnation of violence, specifically the deadly attack on two Israeli policemen on 14 July.
“I hope these affirmations will contribute to resolving the concerns of all parties and put an end to the provocative rhetoric that has added to the escalation over the past week,” Mladenov said, noting the importance of the special role of Jordan and the historical role of King Abdullah II, as custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.