U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praises a commitment by Israel to maintain the status quo at at al-Aqsa compound. Paul Chapman reports.
UN head praises Israel’s ‘status quo’ pledge
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES (DEAD BODIES ON GROUND)
Two Palestinians lie dead in the street in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
They were shot by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing and wounding an Israeli soldier.
An alleged attacker in another such incident in Hebron the same day was also shot dead.
Before those attacks on Tuesday eight Israelis had been killed in stabbings, shootings and car rammings by Palestinian and Israeli Arabs.
Israeli security forces have shot and killed at least at least 23 attackers and a similar number of protesters.
An Eritrean was also shot by a guard and beaten by a crowd after being mistaken for an assailant during a shooting.
The violence erupted in part because of Palestinian anger at what they see as increased Jewish encroachment at the al-Aqsa plaza in Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.N. head Ban Ki-moon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was whipping up the fury.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING:
“In a large part it’s because President Abbas has joined ISIS and Hamas in claiming that Israel threatens the al-Aqsa mosque. This, Mr Secretary , is a total lie. Israel vigourously protects the holy sites of all faiths. We keep the status quo.”
Ban is praising what he says is Israel’s commitment to do just that at the site revered by Muslims and Jews.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON SAYING:
“I welcome the recent statement by you, Mr Prime Minister, and also members of your government and prominent rabbis, expressing Israel’s commitment to the preservation of the historic status quo at the Temple Mount-Al Haram al-Shareef.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to visit Europe and the Middle East for talks on the latest violence.