10 JUNE 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  I was away for a couple of days, and I wasn’t following exactly what happened here.

And I have a second question about the Israeli Flag Day, which now is set for the 15th.  The march, which started the latest round of clashes, started because of that march by Israeli extremists to claim Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel on the occasion of its occupation in the 1967 war.

Now, it is scheduled for the 15th of the month, and Hamas is threatening again if this march goes on and gets closer to the al-Aqsa Mosque, there might be a new round of attacks.  Are you aware of the new date and if the SG will say something about it?

Spokesman:  I would say exactly what Mr. [Tor] Wennesland has said very recently, is that given the fragility of the ceasefire, he encourages all sides to refrain from anything that could be seen as a provocation.  He would encourage everyone to exercise restraint, and what we need is space for the solidification of the ceasefire.

Question:  And my last question.  Last night, Stéphane, an Israeli specialist unit, which they are dressed like Arabs, they entered the City of Jenin and killed two Palestinian security men and one civilian.  And one Israeli officer was killed as well, the first clashes between security… Palestinian security forces and Israeli forces, which could be alarming.  Are you aware of that and if there’s any reaction to that?

Spokesman:  We’re very much aware of the incident, which is of great concern to us — over the security incident.  I think incidents like this significantly increase the tensions between the Palestinian authorities and Israel and risk… frankly risks further escalation.

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For information media. Not an official record.