UN Mideast envoy calls for Temple Mount solution by week’s end

(JTA) – The Middle East envoy for the United Nations called for a solution to the current conflict over the Temple Mount by Friday, the largest day for Muslim prayer at the holy site.

The UN Security Council held a closed-door meeting Monday to discuss the volatile situation at the behest of Sweden, Egypt and France.

The envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, told reporters after his closed-door briefing to the Security Council that the conflict over the Temple Mount has “potential catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City,” Reuters reported.

“The dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis,” the former Bulgarian foreign minister said.

Metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the Temple Mount after three Arab-Israelis shot and killed two Israeli police officers there on July 14. Muslim leaders call the new security apparatus a change in the status quo.

Since the metal detectors have been in place, Muslims have refused to enter the Temple Mount, instead praying outside of its gates, leading to clashes with Israeli police and the deaths of at least five Palestinians in recent days.

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