Middle East Quartet express ‘deep concern’ over violence in Jerusalem

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Palestinians react as Israeli police fire a stun grenade during clashes at Damascus Gate on Laylat al-Qadr during the holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 9, 2021. ― Reuters pic
Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Palestinians react as Israeli police fire a stun grenade during clashes at Damascus Gate on Laylat al-Qadr during the holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 9, 2021. ― Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, May 5 ― The four members of the Middle East Quartet ― the US, Russia, the EU and the UN ― today expressed “deep concern” over violence in Jerusalem, a day after clashes wounded more than 200 people.

The Quartet envoys “express deep concern over the daily clashes and violence in East Jerusalem, in particular last night’s confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” the group said in a statement.

“We are alarmed by the provocative statements made by some political groups, as well as the launching of rockets and the resumption of incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel, and attacks on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank.

Israeli police detain a Palestinian during clashes at Damascus Gate on Laylat al-Qadr during the holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 8, 2021. ― Reuters pic
Israeli police detain a Palestinian during clashes at Damascus Gate on Laylat al-Qadr during the holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 8, 2021. ― Reuters pic

“The Envoys noted with serious concern the possible evictions of Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for generations... and voice opposition to unilateral actions, which will only escalate the already tense environment.

“We call upon Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and to avoid measures that would further escalate the situation during this period of Muslim Holy Days.”

Despite international pleas the violence has continued today, with dozens more people injured as Israeli police fired water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters in annexed east Jerusalem.

The Quartet has been more active since US President Joe Biden took office earlier this year, after falling largely dormant during the administration of Donald , who was seen by Palestinians as biased towards Israel.

The statement reiterated the group’s “commitment to a negotiated two state solution.” ― AFP

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