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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Question: Despite the ceasefire announced on May 21 between Israel and the Gaza Strip, an explosive situation remains in East Jerusalem. How do you assess the likelihood of a new surge in violence between Palestinians and Israelis?

Answer: We are concerned about reports of continued tension in East Jerusalem. In particular, the restrictions for Arab residents of the city on movement in the Sheikh Jarrah area by the Israeli security forces are of concern. The situation may be further aggravated in the light of the decision to resume consideration in the Israeli Supreme Court of an appeal filed earlier by 4 Palestinian families against their forced eviction from the aforementioned quarter.

Against this backdrop, Israeli ultranationalist organizations are calling for a “flag march” in Jerusalem through Damascus Gate and the Muslim quarter of the Old City. There is every reason to fear that this action will entail new clashes between Jewish and Arab residents of East Jerusalem, as well as mass protests in other occupied Palestinian territories.

We urge all parties to refrain from provocative statements or actions fraught with disruption of public peace and a new large-scale escalation of violence.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Quartet of international mediators on STBs, Russia, in cooperation with all interested parties, will continue vigorous efforts in the interests of an early resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in order to comprehensively resolve fundamental issues of the final status on the basis of the relevant decisions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly and the two-state principle.

We plan to substantively discuss these issues with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East T. Vennesland during his visit to Moscow on June 10.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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