Ban Ki-moon urges Israelis, Palestinians to stop clashes

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon urges both Palestinians, Israelis to stop clashes during his visit to region

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

UN Secretary, Ban Ki-moon and Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

The UN Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, during his visit to the region urged both the Palestinians and the Israelis to stop the three week long clashes, adding that the current clashes taking place undermines the Palestinian hopes of statehood and Israel's security. 

Clashes started after Israeli settlers and Knesset members forced their way into the Al Aqsa Mosque.

"This conflict has gone on for far too long," said Ki-moon. "We must, for the future of our children, come back from this dangerous abyss, safeguard the two-state solution and lead people back onto the road towards peace."

Ban Ki-moon's trip was announced just hours before his arrival in the region.

Palestinian officials said that Ban Ki-moon will meet Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. He is also scheduled to meet with Jordanian King Abdullah on Thursday.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu noted that Israel has no intention to change the status quo of Al Aqsa.

"President Abbas has joined ISIS and Hamas in claiming that Israel threatens the Al Aqsa Mosque. This, Mr. Secretary, is a total lie. Israel vigorously protects the holy sites of all faiths. We keep the status quo" said Netanyahu. 

From Six Days War in 1967, to 2003, the Jordanian Islamic Endowments was in charge of Al Aqsa Mosque, regulating the entry of non-Muslims. However, after former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon sent Israeli security forces to raid Al Aqsa in an attempt to change the status quo, his actions triggered the second intifida. In 2003, Israeli government decided to hand over authority of the mosque to the Israeli security forces.

Speaking in Ramallah, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinian people are frustrated with the failure of the peace talks.

The peace talks which were aimed at securing a Palestinian state, collapsed in April 2014.

"Our youth is pressured and desperate over the Israeli government's failure and the absence of any political future that would provide hope of a fair and just peace allowing our people to be independent beside the state of Israel," Abbas said in Ramallah.

United States Secretary of State, John Kerry said on Monday that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders need to clarify the status of Al Aqsa Mosque, to help bring an end to the latest bloodshed.

"Israel understands the importance of the status quo and ... our objective is to make sure that everyone understands what that means," Kerry said in a news conference in Madrid.

Kerry is preparing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netenyahu in Germany, additionally he will meet with Jordanian King, Abdullah II and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, likely in Amman in the upcoming weeks to try to solve the current situation in the occupied lands.

TRTWorld and agencies