Russian Foreign Ministry calls for averting of further degradation of situation around Jerusalem holy sites

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow views as alarming the growth of tension in Jerusalem, which is a holy city for representatives of three monotheistic religions.

"We insistently urge the Palestinian and Israeli sides to show restraint and take immediate steps to prevent the situation in East Jerusalem from further sliding into the confrontational sphere," the Russian foreign political agency said in its comments.

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that the situation in East Jerusalem had deteriorated sharply over the last few days. According to available reports, on September 13, the eve of the Jewish New Year, to ensure security of those Jews who seek to perform their religious rites at the Al-Aqsa Mosque at this time every year, Israeli policemen came there. At the same time restrictions on access to the mosque were introduced for Palestinians for the period of the mentioned holiday. These actions have provoked a string of clashes which still continue between Palestinians and Israelis.

In this regard, the Foreign Ministry said that "with due account of no easy situation as it is in Palestinian-Israeli relations, any thoughtless steps may entail the most negative consequences."

"The degradation of the situation around the Jerusalem holy sites poses a threat to postpone for an even longer period of time the chance to attain a just solution to the Palestinian problem on a common international legal basis and also worsen the situation in the region of the Middle East and North Africa as a whole," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We are convinced that the issues related to the Jerusalem shrines should be resolved within the framework of a constructive Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. For this it is exclusively important to preserve the status quo of the holy sites and avert any unilateral actions that may stir up inter-confessional standoff," the document said.