Jerusalem: Germany urges restraint amid mosque tension

FM Steinmeier warns against 'a spiral of anger and revenge' and calls on Israelis and Palestinians to de-escalate tension in Al-Aqsa compound

Jerusalem: Germany urges restraint amid mosque tension

World Bulletin/News Desk

Germany has called on Israelis and Palestinians to act to de-escalate growing tensions in Jerusalem.

The remarks by Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier came on Thursday amid escalating violence in Jerusalem following the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israel.

Steinmeier said in a statement: "The politicians on both sides should now have the courage to work together to calm the situation with clear words and acts."

"Provocations from the ranks of both sides should be strongly confronted before they become a spiral of anger and revenge,” he stressed.

Israel closed the compound last week after an extremist Jewish rabbi was injured in a West Jerusalem drive-by shooting. 

Growing tension

Steinmeier has condemned the recent attacks in Jerusalem and Bethlehem which have targeted Israelis and also warned against provocations in the Haram al-Sharif site.

He extended support for the recent efforts of Jordanian government to de-escalate the growing tension in Haram al-Sharif.

Steinmeier also stressed that both Israel and Palestinians should demonstrate their commitment to the co-existence of religions and communities in Jerusalem.

“The recent statement of Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that Israeli government would not allow any change in the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif could be an important first step,” Steinmeier said. 

Angry protests

Last week's closure of Al-Aqsa, along with the subsequent killing of a young Palestinian man suspected of shooting a rabbi, fueled angry protests by Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa mosque in the Haram al-Sharif represents the world's third-holiest site.

Jews refer to the area as the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

 

Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2014, 17:09
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