United Nations: The Palestinians on Wednesday asked the UN Security Council to demand Israel take steps to end clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem and warned of a brewing religious confrontation.
Palestinian representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said the 15-member council must "adopt a position to call on the Israeli government to stop all these activities and policies of provocation and incitement."
The request for a statement from the council came after renewed clashes earlier Wednesday between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque and a car attack by a Palestinian driver who rammed his car into a group of pedestrians, killing a border policeman.
Mansour blamed the latest confrontation at the Al-Aqsa mosque on "extremists" who entered the mosque, some without taking their shoes off, which he said "is extremely provocative."
"They are trying to push the region into religious confrontation," Mansour told reporters after meeting with Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, whose country chairs the Security Council this month.
Jordan earlier recalled its ambassador from Israel and the foreign minister called on Israel to "respect the sanctity of the holy sites" following the clashes at Al-Aqsa, Islam`s third holiest site.
Quinlan said there was no request for an emergency council meeting but that there were discussions on the mounting tensions in east Jerusalem.
Israel`s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor sent a letter to the council accusing the Palestinians of incitement and noting that there had been no UN condemnation of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
Al-Aqsa has been the scene of frequent confrontations in recent months, largely triggered by Palestinian fears that Israel was poised to allow Jewish prayer at the site.