Violent clashes unfolded at one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites over the weekend. The shrine, known to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is considered the emotional epicenter of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel said its security forces entered the site on Sunday in response to Palestinian rock-throwing and that it is committed to ensuring that Jews, Christians and Muslims can worship freely in the Holy Land. The Palestinians view the presence of Israeli security forces at Al-Aqsa and visits by nationalist and religious Jews as a provocation.
The U.N. Security Council emerged from a closed-door session Tuesday with no unanimous message on the tensions, though envoys from Ireland, France, Estonia, Norway and Albania stood together to express concern. They called for respecting arrangements at holy sites and for restraint from both sides while condemning rocket fire from Gaza and “all acts of terrorism.”
Tensions around the same compound played a central role in the buildup to an 11-day war last May between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.