21:44 GMT16 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Middle East Quartet - Russia, the US, the EU and the UN - has expressed concerns over recent violence in East Jerusalem that led to the death of around 300 Palestinians.

    "We call upon Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and to avoid measures that would further escalate the situation during this period of Muslim Holy Days. We call on all sides to uphold and respect the status quo at the holy sites. All leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists and to speak out against all acts of violence and incitement. In this context, the Quartet Envoys reiterated their commitment to a negotiated two state solution," the Quartet said in a Saturday statement.

    Earlier, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that a total of around 300 Palestinians have been injured in the past days of unrest in East Jerusalem, with 80 injuries reported on Saturday alone.

    "The Envoys express deep concern over the daily clashes and violence in East Jerusalem, in particular last night’s confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount," the Quartet said, also expressing alarm over "the resumption of incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel, and attacks on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank."

    The Israeli police said on Saturday that unrest had resumed near the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, where dozens of people started throwing stones at law enforcement. A total of 75,000 Muslims reportedly gathered in East Jerusalem on Saturday night. According to police, two people were detained in Sheikh Jarrah after they attacked officers using a gas canister.

    The unrest in East Jerusalem has been ongoing for several days over an Israeli court's decision to evict several Palestinian families from the area.

    "The Envoys noted with serious concern the possible evictions of Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for generations in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and voice opposition to unilateral actions, which will only escalate the already tense environment," the Middle East Quartet said on Saturday.

    On Friday, violence continued in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and near the Temple Mount. The Red Crescent said that 205 Palestinians had been injured in clashes with Israeli forces as of Friday. Israeli police said that 17 law enforcement members were injured.

    The Arab League plans to hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday 10 May, to discuss the escalation of violence in East Jerusalem.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instructed the Palestinian representative to the UN on Friday to request a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the recent events in East Jerusalem.

    Middle East Quartet, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
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