UN Quartet in Vienna expresses ‘grave concern’ over rising tensions

Representatives of the UN Quartet for the Middle East expressed “grave concern” over the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians at their meeting in Vienna on Friday.


They condemned “all acts of terror and violence against civilians” and called for “maximum restraint and avoidance of provocative rhetoric and actions.”


The Quartet encouraged Israel to work together with Jordan in order to “uphold the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in both word and practice, recognizing the special role of Jordan as per its peace treaty with Israel.”


The group underlined the importance of “restoring confidence and hope in the viability of a negotiated twostate solution that resolves the final-status issues, including that of Jerusalem, and ends the occupation that began in 1967.”


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the meeting via video conference. Just before doing so, he told journalists he was “profoundly troubled” by what he saw and heard during his snap visit to the region on Tuesday.


“I strongly condemned all acts of terror and violence, and I offer condolences to the families of those who have been killed or injured,” the secretary-general said.


“The tensions around the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount have the potential to add a religious dimension to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that could be exploited by extremists on both sides, with potentially dangerous regional implications.”


Ban said he welcomes “the assurance of Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel has no intention of changing the status quo,” and that it is “critical” Israel “exercise maximum restraint” and “make sure that security measures are properly calibrated.”


Not doing so may “breed the very frustrations and anxieties which perpetuate violence,” he said.


Read More: UN Quartet in Vienna expresses ‘grave concern’ over rising tensions – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post