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UN envoy warns of ‘grave risk’ of changing Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one

New York (IINA) � UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov warned that developments over the past 11 days at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque had demonstrated the grave risk that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could become a religious one that could ultimately engulf the rest of the region.

For nearly a century, despite myriad peace efforts, one conflict has evaded solution, Mladenov told an open debate in the UN Security Council. However, he recognized that Israelis and Palestinians fortunately have not succumbed to the torrent of violent upheaval that has engulfed the region in recent years.

In his briefing, the UN envoy highlighted the latest clashes and rising tensions over the past two weeks in the Old City of Jerusalem, UN News reported.

These developments demonstrated the grave risk of dangerous escalation that exists, a risk of turning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one and dragging both sides into the vortex of violence with the rest of the region, Mladenov said, stressing the need for all parties to show restraint and promptly end this crisis.

He urged Israel to fulfill the responsibility to uphold its obligations under international human rights law and humanitarian law. He also urged Palestinian leaders to avoid provocative statements that further aggravate an already tense environment.

Throughout the month, Israel continued to advance its plans to construct settlements in East Jerusalem. I must once again emphasize that settlement activity in occupied territory is illegal under international law, and undermines the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous, sovereign Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution, Mladenov warned.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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