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UNITED NATIONS, October 16. /TASS/. Israel and Palestine should refrain from any steps that might upset the status quo of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, Russian Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Friday at an extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
He said of major importance was "normalization of the situation around Holy Sites in East Jerusalem that are of reverence for Jews, Moslems and Christians."
"At the current stage, any steps disrupting their status quo and regularly provoking some Palestinians and Israelis to commit force actions should be avoided," he stressed.
At the same time, he said, the decades-long situation could not last forever. "A mutually acceptable solution is to be found concerning Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. And it can be possible only through discussing the Jerusalem problem at talks on all issues of the final status of Palestinian territories," the Russian diplomat said.
He also noted Moscow "was profoundly concerned" about the aggravations of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the past weeks, with growing number of victims on both sides from armed clashes and terrorist attacks. "Resolutely condemning any terrorist manifestations, Russia once again calls on the parties to stop violence, drop provocative actions and take urgent measures to deescalate the situation. Any acts of violence against civilians are unacceptable and inadmissible," Churkin stressed.
In his words, Israel as an occupying state bears special responsibility for the developments on the West Bank and should guarantee observance of the international humanitarian law.
The Russian diplomat said he hoped a visit of the Middle East Quartet of mediators that had been postponed due to the deterioration of the situation would finally take place "as soon as possible" and reminded the United Nations Secretariat that it was expected to respond to a request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to place the Palestinian territory under international protection.