The Palestinian UN ambassador is blaming Israel's "illegal actions" in East Jerusalem and violations of the status quo at the city's holy sites for stoking a religious conflict that is at "the point of eruption."
Riyad Mansour told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that "we are clearly at the tippling point" as a result of escalating tensions and instability, and Israel's "aggressive behavior."
He said East Jerusalem "is a city besieged from within and without by military checkpoints, occupation forces, settlements, armed and
violent settlers." The Palestinian people are resisting the "provocative measures" by praying in the streets, he said.
Mansour said "a clear, unified message must be conveyed to Israel to cease and reverse all such illegal actions" and to end "incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, including by government officials." He cited a statement by Israel's public security minister saying Israel holds sovereignty over the holy sites, which is an issue to be decided in peace negotiations.
Mansour said "de-escalation is urgent" and he appealed for the continuation of all efforts to restore the 1967 status quo at the Al Aqsa mosque compound and achieve calm.
He said "this requires the lifting of all measures in violation of the historic status quo, including any hindrances or obstructions violating the access by Palestinians to this holy site and their freedom of worship."