J Street is deeply concerned by today’s violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, in which so far three Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded. Tensions over the Holy Esplanade/Temple Mount have escalated to this point over the past week, and they now risk spiraling out of control.
It’s clear that questions of control, access and security at the sacred site are extremely complex and historically fraught – and that they are of tremendous concern not just to Israelis and Palestinians but to political and religious leaders across the region and throughout the world. What is needed now is for all concerned parties to act responsibly, to appeal for calm and to do whatever they can to de-escalate the situation and pursue workable compromises.
With responsible, good faith efforts from leaders on the ground and with engaged diplomatic efforts by the international community, it is not too late for all parties to step back from the brink and find mutually acceptable solutions. From world leaders to local activists and clerics, from Members of Knesset to security officials to the average protester and policeman, everyone must strive to condemn violence and to consider the disastrous consequences of allowing this conflagration to worsen and spread.
Join our Monday, July 23, 3pm Eastern briefing call with International Crisis Group expert Ofer Zalzberg.