Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today echoed the concerns expressed by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process about the latest escalation at the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Mr. Ban is also concerned at other violence, including a stone throwing incident which resulted in the death of an Israeli man in East Jerusalem, according to a note issued to the media by his spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General has consistently reiterated the importance of respect for the religious freedom of all, and for worshippers of all faiths to have access to their holy sites,” it stated.
“These events once again underscored the importance of reaching a final status agreement through negotiations on all issues, including arrangements for the holy sites that are acceptable to all.”
Following reported clashes over the weekend between Palestinian youths and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque compound, UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov urged respect for the sanctity of the area.
“Political and religious leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists, who undermine the rule of law. I encourage all to stand firmly against incitement and violence, especially during the sensitive period of the Jewish High Holy Days and ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.