UN leader Ban Ki-moon condemns torching of Joseph’s Tomb


(JTA) – The secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, condemned the torching of Joseph’s Tomb by Palestinians near Nablus.

On Friday, during a Security Council discussion in New York on the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Ban’s aide said the “perpetrators should be brought to justice immediately,” the Daily Mail reported. The discussion at U.N. headquarters was convened at Jordan’s request.

According to Haaretz, the aide also said that Ban welcomed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announcing that he would establish an investigative committee on the incident.

Ban called on both sides to refrain from targeting holy sites and not to turn the national conflict into a religious one, saying it would have serious consequences.

Speaking ahead of a Security Council meeting on Israel, Jerusalem’s ambassador to the United Nations said his country would spurn any international presence at the Temple Mount.

Speaking at a news conference at U.N. a few minutes before the start of a Security Council meeting on the escalation of violence, Danny Danon said Israel “does not think international intervention [in] the Temple Mount would be helpful or contribute to stability,” The Times of Israel reported.

“An international presence on the Temple Mount would violate the status quo of the last several decades,” he added.

The Security Council meeting was convened following the death of some 40 Palestinians and seven Israelis in clashes that began approximately two weeks ago amid claims by Palestinian leaders that Israel was violating the status quo at the Temple Mount, which contains sites holy to Judaism and Islam.

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called for the Security Council to pass a resolution safeguarding Palestinians in Jerusalem. His Jordanian counterpart, Dina Kawar, blamed Israel for the escalation in Jerusalem, adding that Israel must keep the status quo and desist from any actions to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line which mustn’t be crossed and cannot be defiled,” she said. “We reserve all the diplomatic and legal options to defend the holy sites in Jerusalem.”

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