08:25 GMT31 March 2020
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    Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren says that the situation around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will unlikely be settled in the near future and external players and Russia in particular should make more efforts at crisis resolution.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The situation around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will unlikely be settled in the near future and external players and Russia in particular should make more efforts at crisis resolution, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren told Sputnik Friday.

    "There is a great potential in terms of diplomatic work with countries which must take a more responsible approach. I am talking about our neighbors, and Russia may also play a good role in this regard, in particular, by urging Turkish or Jordanian leadership to calm down their tone, act constructively to resolve the situation and defuse this dangerous atmosphere," Koren said.

    "Certainly, we have been to the Russian Foreign Ministry just yesterday. But I will not go into details. We communicate often and constructively and, again, we are very grateful for this to the Russian side, we discuss different topics, not only this painful one [the Temple Mount], but there are the issues related to Iran, Syria, and so on," Koren said.

    Koren noted that Israel appreciated the international community’s attempts to help resolve the Temple Mount conflict, describing its nature as "explosive."

    Koren also said that it is important to carry out monitoring of social networks to avoid terrorist attacks inspired from the outside.

    On Thursday night, clashes between police and worshipers erupted again at the Temple Mount and spread to nearby neighborhoods of the Old City. Over 120 people reportedly were injured.

    The Temple Mount, which is the third holiest site in Islam, was equipped with metal detectors and surveillance video cameras to monitor its territory after deadly shooting at the site on July 14 that left two Israeli police officers killed. The measures led to violent clashes in Jerusalem and the West Bank over the weekend and forced Palestine to suspend contacts with Israel over several Palestinian deaths.

    Koren pointed out that Israel “was forced to boost the security measures,” adding that “there are, there were and there will be no plans to change the so-called historical status-quo at the Temple Mount.”

    He said that Israel wanted to de-escalate the situation around the holy site.

    “The history and faith of the Jewish people are inseparable from the Temple Mount,” Koren said, adding that the Temple Mount is a place where the Jews constructed the Temple of Jerusalem twice before the emergence of Islam.

    In an effort to alleviate tensions, Israeli authorities removed metal detectors earlier this week and the remaining barriers on Thursday.


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