US officials trying hard to de-escalate Israel-Palestinian standoff


WASHINGTON, July 26 (APP) Senior US diplomats were trying hard to de-escalate the situation erupted after an Israeli decision to install metal detectors at the site of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a US State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday, reiterating that US policy supports the status quo at the site.
At a press briefing at the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, the special envoy to President Trump, were shuttling between Jordon and Israel, and have spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the recent situation.
Israel has said it was removing the metal detractors installed two weeks ago at the entrance of Al-Aqsa mosque which led to widespread Palestinian protests across Jerusalem and the West Bank and also triggered diplomatic tension between Jordon and Israel.
The spokesman said Mr. Greeblatt had spoken to the Israeli Prime Minister and was also spending time in Jordon as he was working very hard to try to de-escalate the tensions, which was the US priority. She said that the US State Department and the White House were working closely on the issue.
Asked to comment on the Israeli decision to install metal detractors, she said that US support anything that serves to de-escalate tensions and pave the road for the two sides to come together and talks about the peace process moving forward. We support the maintenance of the status quo at that site and welcome all sides and their commitment to the status quo.
Asked to comment on the Israeli decision to remove the metal detectors and replace them high-tech cameras that had also been discussed between Israel and Jordon but objected by the Palestinians, the spokesperson said that the US would leave that to those parties to decide what works for them.
Ultimately it goes with the peace process, ultimately, it’s their decision to make. Both parties have to be able to live with it and be able to work with it. We are merely here as a supporter, a facilitator of peace, and that’s not going to change, but they have to be able to work together, she added.
The spokesperson observed that following the decision to remove the detectors, tensions was seemed to be lessening and that the US was pleased to note that. It looks like it’s going in the right direction right now.