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Brussels, 10/05/2021 – 19:51, UNIQUE ID: 210510_12

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There were a number of other current issues, let me cite among them Palestine, let me start with it. Our initial focus was on the situation with regard to the postponed Palestinian elections, but we also discussed about the serious situation on the ground.

Today – which is, by the way, Jerusalem Day – is a very sensitive moment. We are deeply concerned over the recent clashes and violence, including again this morning in and around the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.

It is clear that all sides must uphold and fully respect the status quo of the holy sites. And all leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists.  But I have to recall what we have been saying during the weekend. The situation with regard to the evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and other areas of East Jerusalem is a matter of serious concern. I want to repeat what we have already been saying:  Such actions are illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground. It is important that everything possible will be done to avoid fuelling tensions. And we note that the decision to stop Jewish worshippers from accessing the esplanade is a positive one that can calm the situation.

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