x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

EU warns against 'provocation'

BRUSSELS // The European Union yesterday urged restraint on all sides from "provocative actions" in East Jerusalem amid rising tension since the closing of the Old City's al Aqsa mosque. "I would like to urge all parties to refrain from provocative actions that could further inflame tensions or lead to violence," Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy representative, said in a statement. "Everyone must take action to avoid escalation. Our continued priority remains the relaunching of credible negotiations in an atmosphere conducive to their success."

Meanwhile, a senior Fatah official has warned of a possible third intifada, or uprising, over the tensions, the Jerusalem Post reported on its website yesterday. Hatem Abdel Kader warned of a "very sensitive situation", adding that "if they don't want things to escalate, the Israelis should back away from this issue". The second Palestinian intifada began at the Haram al Sharif compound in September 2000 after a visit by Ariel Sharon, who was the opposition leader at the time.

* Agence France-Presse