US calls for avoiding actions that escalates tensions as Palestinians clash with Israeli troops


WASHINGTON, July 21 (APP): A US State Department spokeswoman called for avoiding actions that could escalate tensions as Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops to protest installation of metal detectors at the holy site in Jerusalem that includes the Al Aqsa mosque.
Thousands of Palestinian offered Friday prayers in streets and clashed
with police after Muslim leaders urged the faithful not to enter the holy site until Israel removed the metal blocks, describing it as an encroachment on Muslim rights.
At a daily briefing at the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert was extremely cautious in her response when asked to comment on the Israeli decision to install metal detectors at the holy site.
First, let me say we all know that this is an extremely sensitive
matter. This is something we are watching very closely here, so I’m going to be very cautious and careful in my words, because we don’t want to do anything that would potentially escalate tensions, she told a briefing.
She said the United States support the status quo and welcomes all sides which are continuing in their commitment to maintaining the status quo. But, when her attention was drawn to the fact that the installation of metal detectors does not include in the status quo and whether the United States opposed it, she reiterated the official position on maintaining the status quo.
We are encouraging both sides to not take any actions that would
potentially escalate tensions, she said while declining to offer any further comments beyond that.
On Friday, thousands of Muslims offered prayer in the streets near the
holy site that also house the Al Aqsa mosque. Clashes were reported after the prayers amid reports that a 17-year-old Palestinian had been killed by live fire in the area of confrontation. Israel has said it would not remove the metal detectors.
Installation of metal detectors has let to increasing tensions between
Israel and the Muslim world. A Washington Post report said that Jordon, the custodian of the Jerusalem shrine, has appealed to Israel to remove the devices. Several thousand Jordanians took to the street on Friday to protest the installation of metal detectors and raising slogans that people want to liberate Al Aqsa.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the United States to
intervene immediately to compel Israel to remove metal detectors, the report said quoting Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to the Palestinian President.