UN chief welcomes news crisis in Jerusalem's Old City has been 'defused'

27 July 2017

After days of mounting tensions over the situation around Jerusalem's holy sites, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today welcomed news that the crisis in the Old City has been defused.

In a statement issued by a UN spokesman, the Secretary-General welcomed the news that the crisis has been defused “in line with the status quo at the holy sites before 14 July.”

The statement comes in the wake of a series of clashes and rising tensions in and around Jerusalem's Old City since mid-June, particularly near the holy site known as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif, where a deadly stabbing of two Israeli police officers occurred on 14 July.

News reports today suggest that metal detectors and other security measures around the holy sites have been removed or eased. According to media reports, the 1967 status quo is an accord between Israel and Jordan, which allows the Islamic Trust or Waqf to manage the holy site.

“[The Secretary-General] hopes that the dialogue will continue and contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust amongst the communities,” said the statement, adding, that the UN chief will remain engaged with all stakeholders to this effect.

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Jerusalem: Guterres urges political and religious leaders to refrain from 'provocative actions and rhetoric'

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, concerned by the potential risk of escalating violence over the situation in the Old City of Jerusalem, today urged all political, religious and community leaders to refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric.