Al-Aqsa Mosque dispute poised to become a religious conflict, UN envoy warns

2017-07-26 02:54:48 | nomi
Al-Aqsa Mosque dispute poised to become a religious conflict, UN envoy warns
Al-Aqsa Mosque dispute poised to become a religious conflict, UN envoy warns

 

The UN envoy on Middle East peace has warned that developments over the past 11 days in and around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem have demonstrated the grave risk that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could become a religious one that could ultimately engulf the rest of the region.

While recognising that Israelis and Palestinians, fortunately, have not succumbed to the torrent of violent upheaval that has engulfed the region in recent years, Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, nevertheless told an open debate in the UN Security Council that: For nearly a century, despite myriad peace efforts, one conflict has evaded solution.

His briefing to the 15-nation Council highlighted the latest clashes and rising tensions over the past two weeks in the Old City in Jerusalem. Violence has resulted in deaths on both sides.

These developments demonstrated the grave risk of dangerous escalation that exists, a risk of turning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one and dragging both sides into the vortex of violence with the rest of the region, Mladenov said, stressing the need for all parties to show restraint and promptly end this crisis. Noting that the final status issue concerning Jerusalem needs to be negotiated and decided by the two sides, he urged Israel to fulfil the responsibility to uphold its obligations under international human rights law and humanitarian law. He also urged Palestinian leaders to avoid provocative statements that further aggravate an already tense environment.

The latest incidents have taken place against a backdrop of other developments, the envoy stressed.

Throughout the month, Israel continued to advance its plans to construct settlements in East Jerusalem. I must once again emphasise that settlement activity in occupied territory is illegal under international law and undermines the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous, sovereign Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution, he warned.

On a positive note, it was pointed out that an interim power purchasing agreement between the two sides was signed on 10 July, which set the stage to negotiate a more comprehensive power purchasing agreement towards Palestinian energy independence. In addition, an agreement was reached to increase water supply for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Turning to the situation in Gaza, he reiterated that the political standoff between two Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas has taken the two million people living in the tiny enclave hostage.

Since violently seizing control of Gaza, Hamas has tightened its grip on power and suppressed dissent, he explained.

The punishing measures taken against Hamas, including electricity cuts, have worsened the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Whatever the political differences between the Palestinian factions, it is not the people of Gaza who should pay the price, Mladenov underscored, calling on Palestinian leaders to address the destructive consequences of the split.

Finally, he said recent events are a reminder of how easy it could be to reach a dangerous escalation, and he, expressed hope that Israel's agreement with Jordan and positive engagement with religious authorities would result in actions that would circumvent violence in the future.

We must not lose focus on the need to restore a political perspective, on the need to bring Palestinians and Israelis back into an environment that is conducive to negotiations on a final status arrangement and avoids turning the national Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one, he emphasised.

.

Tags: #Middle-East #

Latest News

What to Next

Russian foreign minister says US ready to continue talks

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he believed his US colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex iss... More

BJP keen to amend law on permanent residence in held Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Away from the attention that Article 370 attracts, some members and supporters of the Bha­ratiya Janata Party (BJP) are steadily pushin... More

North Korea defiant after new sanctions, rejects talks

SEOUL (AFP):North Korea on Monday angrily insisted tough new United Nations sanctions would not stop it from developing its nuclear arsenal, and warne... More

Does Trump worry you? US Muslims say yes : Survey

Survey finds Muslims feel out of place in society, displeased with their president, and are targets of discrimination. The early days of Donald Tru... More

DEATH TO ISIS:Thousands flood streets in furious protest to condemn terror group

Thousands of protesters chanted slogans against the militant Islamic State group Wednesday as they carried the coffins of victims of an attack targeti... More

China says restrained in face of India

BEIJING: China accused India on Wednesday of “concocting” excuses over the illegal entry of the South Asian nation’s military into C... More

COAS, Afghan envoy discuss border issues

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa met Afghanistan’s ambassador Dr Omar Zakhilwal on Wednesday for continuing discussions on normalisation of... More

Apple removes VPN services from Chinese app store

BEIJING: Apple has removed software allowing internet users to skirt China’s “Great Firewall” from its app store in the country, the... More

IS claims attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday and militants breached the compound in a complex hours-long attack claim... More

Saudi-led bloc opens emergency routes to Qatari planes

DUBAI: Four Arab states that have cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar said on Monday that they have opened up air routes that Qatari planes c... More

83