18 September 2015 – The United Nations Security Council expressed its “grave concern” over escalating tensions around holy sites in Jerusalem and called for the “immediate cessation of violence” and the restoration of calm, especially surrounding the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound.
Clashes of varying intensity have been ongoing for nearly a week now, and follow sweeping restrictions on entry into the compound that Israel applied beginning on 26 August. Since then, the Government has decreed an entry ban to the area to members of Muslim and Jewish groups considered to be extremist.
In a press statement issued late Thursday, the 15-member Council “called for the exercise of restraint, refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric, and upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Haram Al-Sharif – in word and in practice.”
“Muslim worshippers at the Haram Al-Sharif must be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocations,” the statement said.
The Council called for “full respect for international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as may be applicable in Jerusalem” and “urged all sides to work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence at holy sites in Jerusalem.”
Furthermore, Council members “called for the immediate cessation of violence, and for all appropriate steps to be taken to ensure that violence ceases, that provocative actions are avoided, and that the situation returns to normality in a way which promotes the prospects for Middle East peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”