Jerusalem, Israel

20 October 2015

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with MK Isaac Herzog, leader of the Zionist Union party in Israel, and MK Tzipi Livni

The Secretary-General met today with MK Isaac Herzog, leader of the Zionist Union party and leader of the opposition at the Knesset. The Secretary-General offered his condolences for the tragic deaths of Israeli citizens in recent attacks in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel.

He expressed his concern that unless urgent action is taken, dynamics on the ground will only get worse and the violence will be exploited by religious extremists.

The Secretary-General said that he is particularly concerned with the situation at Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount and the religious dispute over it, which has serious repercussions not only for Israel and Palestine but throughout the region. He underscored the importance of direct dialogue between Israel and Jordan, in line with previous agreements between the two countries, and in recognition of Jordan's special role.

The Secretary-General concluded that ultimately, only moving forward to restore a political horizon will end the recurring cycles of violence.