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US expresses 'serious concerns' about Jerusalem clashes, evictions of Palestinians

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 May 2021, 8:44 IST

National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan on Sunday spoke by phone with Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat to express the United States' serious concerns about the situation in Jerusalem, evictions of Palestinians, including violent confrontations at the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount during the last days of Ramazan.

Sullivan highlighted recent engagements by senior US officials with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and key regional stakeholders to press for steps to ensure calm, deescalate tensions, and denounce violence, read a statement from National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Emily Horne on NSA Jake Sullivan's call with Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat regarding the situation in Jerusalem.

Sullivan also reiterated the United States' serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. They agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned, read the statement.

Sullivan encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations.

Sullivan expressed the administration's commitment to Israel's security and to supporting peace and stability throughout the Middle East, and assured Ben-Shabbat that the US will remain fully engaged in the days ahead to promote calm in Jerusalem, the statement added.

Meanwhile, amid violent clashes in East Jerusalem, the Israeli Supreme Court has delayed a hearing scheduled for Monday that could have determined whether four Palestinian families in the city's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood will be evicted.

Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis. The Palestinians live in houses built on land that courts have ruled were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel in 1948.

The city has been embroiled in intense chaos as Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police, with both sides blaming the other for igniting the confrontations.

Over 300 Palestinians have been injured in the riots, several of them seriously hurt by rubber-tipped bullets in the head, eye and jaw.


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First published: 10 May 2021, 8:44 IST