On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Israeli authorities to respect the status quo of Jerusalem's holy sites during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Guterres held telephone conversations with the Palestinians and the Israeli government in 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, according to recent reports.
Speaking to UN Secretary-General, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli police forces of acting "brutally" towards the safe worshipers, in flagrant violation of international law and the legal and historical status of the status quo in the holy city.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told 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.
According to a statement released by the UN, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “The Secretary-General is following with deep concern the escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. He is appalled by the increasing number of casualties, including women and children.”
“Guterres reiterated that children must never be the target of violence or exposed to any harm, noting that the Israeli army must exercise maximum restraint and use lethal force only as a last resort when it is strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,” said the UN Spokesman.
It’s worth mentioning that clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police have intensified in the last few days on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, followed by a range of rocket attacks launched from Gaza toward Israel.