New York

25 October 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the reaffirmation of understandings on the Holy Sites in Jerusalem

The Secretary-General welcomes the statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterating Israel’s commitment to uphold the status quo at the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem in word and in practice. He notes the Prime Minister’s affirmation that Israel has no intention to divide the holy sites and that it respects the importance of the special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as reflected in the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and the historical role of King Abdullah II.

The Secretary-General hopes that strengthened security arrangements between Israel and the Jordanian Waqf should contribute to ensuring that visitors and worshippers demonstrate restraint and respect for the sanctity of the area.

The Secretary-General hopes that the clear, renewed commitments will contribute to resolving the concerns and put an end to the provocative rhetoric that has added to the tensions and violence over the past weeks.

Only by restoring calm will all parties be able to refocus their efforts on renewing confidence and creating conditions on the ground, in the region and internationally for meaningful negotiations towards a two-state solution and to put an end to the occupation that began in 1967.

The Secretary-General expresses appreciation for the efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry, whose fruitful discussions over the past days with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan have led to the present outcome.

New York, 25 October 2015