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Saudi king seeks 'urgent' UN action on Al-Aqsa

AFP , Thursday 17 Sep 2015
Jerusalem
File Photo: A Palestinian man runs for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Saudi King Salman has appealed to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and members of the Security Council for "urgent measures" after clashes at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, state media reported late Wednesday.

Salman "expressed strong condemnation of the dangerous Israeli escalation" at the holy site where Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police for three straight days, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

"He called for serious and speedy international efforts and for the intervention of the Security Council to take all urgent measures to stop these violations," it said.

Salman added that the "attack on worshippers" violates the sanctity of religions "and contributes to feeding extremism and violence in the world."

SPA said Salman made the same appeal in phone calls to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande.

Hollande warned on Wednesday that any change in the rules governing Al-Aqsa mosque compound could lead to "serious destabilisation."

The compound is the third-holiest site in Islam. Under longstanding regulations, Jews are allowed to visit but cannot pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

Muslim protesters fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, with far-right Jewish groups pushing for more access and even efforts by fringe organisations to erect a new temple.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is committed to the "status quo", but Palestinians remain deeply suspicious.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Wednesday of "waging a fierce and relentless war against us in Jerusalem".

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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