"Spike in violence" in Jerusalem follows tensions over access to holy sites

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Palestinians search through the rubble of their home destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khuza’a, southern Gaza Strip. (August 2014) UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

A "spike in violence" in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been caused by escalating tensions surrounding access to holy sites, according to a senior UN official.

Briefing the Security Council on Monday, Jens Toyberg-Frandzen said that clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security have been taking place on an almost daily basis.

The political affairs official called on both sides to avoid an intensification of hostilities.

"Preventing a further escalation of tensions makes it essential that all sides demonstrate responsible leadership, avoid taking provocative unilateral actions and refrain from inciting their supporters through inflammatory rhetoric."  (13″)

Mr Toyberg-Frandzen added that, Israel's ongoing settlement activity continues to undermine efforts to calm the tensions in Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, a 50-day conflict between Israel and the Palestinian faction, Hamas in the Gaza strip led to the deaths of 2000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration:  1’09″

 

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