Jordan to Request Emergency UN Security Council Meeting Over Jerusalem Tensions

Request, on behalf of Palestinians, comes after Israel announces settlement construction plan as violence in area escalates.

An orthodox Jew visits the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, October 27, 2014.
An orthodox Jew visits the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, October 27, 2014.Credit: Reuters

A spokesman for Jordan's mission to the United Nations said on Monday his country will request an emergency UN Security Council meeting on behalf of the Palestinians, who have written to the council president about "dangerously escalating tensions" in East Jerusalem.

Laith Ibrahim Obeidat confirmed the request in a message and said his country, a council member, will ask the council president to set a date.

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that he was pushing forward plans for 1,060 new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, including in East Jerusalem, despite stiff international criticism and recent rising violence between Jews and Arabs in the capital. He then told lawmakers that he was "committed to construction in every part of Judea and Samaria [West Bank]."

The U.S. and the European Union condemned the decision, with State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki saying Washington was "deeply concerned" by reports of Netanyahu's plans.

Responding to Netanyahu's announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority is appealing to the United Nations Security Council to call on Israel to halt its disruptions in Jerusalem, as well as the ongoing actions by settlers against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A letter from Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour to the council president on Monday called on the international community to demand that Israel "cease forthwith all of its illegal settlement activities" in East Jerusalem and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, riots in East Jerusalem, which have been going on for several days, continued Monday as Palestinians clashed with police and attacked property.

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