UN chief calls for preserving status quo in Jerusalem amid Israeli violations

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UNITED NATIONS, Apr 24 (APP): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Israel to respect the status quo of Jerusalem’s holy sites during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to a statement issued by UN spokesman’s office.

The UN chief held telephonic conversations with the Palestinians and the Israeli government on Sunday during which he reiterated his commitment to support both sides in resolving the conflict, on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements.

Speaking to UN Secretary-General, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli police forces of acting “brutally” towards the peaceful worshipers, in flagrant violation of international law and the legal and historical status of the status quo in the holy city, according to media reports.

On the other hand, the reports said, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed during the conversation with Guterres that Israel has been “the stabilizing force” in recent conflicts with Palestine.

Last week, Guterres expressed his grave concern over the recent escalation in Palestinian-Israeli tensions.

On his part, the secretary-general reaffirmed his commitment to the achievement of the two-State solution based on relevant United Nations resolutions, international law, and prior agreements and the importance of restoring a political horizon.

“The Secretary-General reiterated that the status quo at the Holy Sites must be upheld and respected,” the UN statement added.