Mideast Quartet 'strongly condemns' Jerusalem violence

Mideast Quartet 'strongly condemns' Jerusalem violence
The Middle East diplomatic quartet, which includes the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, expressed concern over the ongoing violence in Jerusalem on Sunday.
2 min read
23 July, 2017
Five Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing clashes [Getty]

The Middle East diplomatic quartet expressed concern Saturday about escalating violence in Jerusalem and called on all sides to "demonstrate maximum restraint."

The Quartet comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The envoys of the four "strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence, and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded," the Quartet said in a joint statement.

"The Quartet Envoys call on all to demonstrate maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work towards de-escalating the situation," it added.

The comments come as violence continued in Jerusalem for the second day, in clashes that have so far killed five Palestinians and three Israeli settlers.

On Sunday, Israel installed new security cameras at the entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound as officials said they were considering alternatives to metal detectors that sparked the deadly clashes.

Israel unilaterally imposed the new security measures after a gun and knife attack killed two Israeli policemen on 14 July, a move seen as challenging the delicate status quo of the holy site.

Palestinians in Jerusalem mobilised en-masse against the metal detectors, boycotting entry to the al-Aqsa mosque and praying instead in surrounding city streets.

Disputes over control and access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, have set off major rounds of violence in the past.

In 2000, then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon's visit to the compound helped ignite the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which lasted more than four years and killed more than 5,000 people, the majority Palestinians.

The holy site is located in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

It is recognised as occupied Palestinian territory under international law.