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Brende warns against changing the status quo in Jerusalem

Børge BrendeBørge Brende ( Conservative Party ).


The Foreign Minister, Børge Brende of Høyre (H), warned Israel against changing the status quo in Jerusalem, and is worried about the turmoil that has flared up since their attempts at doing so.


‘I am very concerned about the violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank last week and yesterday,’ said Brende.

There were violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in several places in the occupied territories on Friday. Three Palestinians were killed, and nearly 400 people were injured.

The Palestinians are enraged that Israel has set metal detectors at the entrance to one of Islam’s holiest places, Haram al-Sharif, in occupied East Jerusalem, the place the Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call The Noble Sanctuary.

Israel also denied people under the age of 50 access to the al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount.

Delicate balance

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has stopped all contact with Israel until the new security measures cease.

‘Jerusalem is sacred to large parts of humanity. It is crucial not to disturb the fragile balance between the religions in the city. Current arrangements (status quo) for Temple Mount must be maintained and respected’, said Brende.

He encouraged political and religious leaders to reduce the level of tension.

‘Again, we experience the dangers of the peace process being stymied. I urge all parties to return to negotiations to seek a peaceful solution that will satisfy both peoples, and create lasting peace,’ said Brende.

Killings at settlements

The Foreign Minister also strongly distanced himself from the murder of three Israeli settlers on the West Bank on Friday.

A 20 year old Palestinian broke into the home of a family in the Halamish (illegal) settlement, and stabbed a married couple in their 60’s, and their two offspring, who were in their 40’s. The mother survived the attack, while the attacker was shot and
wounded by a neighbour and is now in Israeli custody.

‘I am 20 years old, I have many dreams, but there is no life left after what we’ve seen in Al-Aqsa’, wrote the Palestinian on Facebook just before the attack.

‘I condemn the killings at Halamish. Violence, and the urging to violence, must end. Terror can never be justified’, said Brende.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today


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