UN Security Council meeting in Jerusalem but holds off on statement

UN Security Council meeting in Jerusalem but holds off on statement

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United Nations: The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on the Jerusalem unrest on Monday, but did not immediately issue a statement, saying the United States believed public comments would be counterproductive.

The negotiations among the 15 nations on the Security Council were over a text that could be watered down from an initial draft proposed by Norway, diplomats said.

More than 300 people were injured Monday as clashes again erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is sacred both in Islam and Judaism.

The bloodshed has prompted statements of deep concern from governments and international organizations, and pleas for an end to the violence.

The United States, according to one diplomat, said in the closed-door videoconference that it was “working behind the scenes” to calm the situation and that it was “not sure that a statement at this point would help.”

After further discussing the possibility of a joint text calling for an escalation of violence, several diplomats told AFP that there will be no Security Council statement on Monday.

“The United States is engaging constructively to ensure any action by the Security Council is helpful in de-escalating tensions,” a spokesperson for the US mission to the UN said.

The meeting came after US national security adviser Jack Sullivan called his Israeli counterparts and expressed “serious concern” that Israel’s possible deportation of Palestinians in the Holy City has fueled tensions.

Shortly after the Council meeting, the organizers of the pro-Israel march had become a hot spot and the event was canceled.

The draft Security Council statement seen by Agence France-Presse will call on Israel to “end settlement, demolition and deportation”, including in East Jerusalem.

The Norwegian draft was presented along with non-permanent Tunisia and China members convened on Monday.

In the draft statement, which is a step below a resolution, the Security Council members would voice “their grave concern regarding escalating tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” which Israel annexed and considers part of its capital.

The draft also calls for “exercise of restraint, refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric, and upholding and respecting the historic status quo at the holy sites.”

The United States is Israel s top ally, but President Joe Biden has looked also to support Palestinian rights following the hawkishly pro-Israel administration of Donald Trump.

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