UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Jerusalem violence


The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on the violence in Jerusalem. A Friday rally has been planned in support of the Palestinians in Berlin, while in Palestine there have been calls for protests.
Thirty-two Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in two weeks of knife attacks and shootings in Jerusalem. Ten people with knives have been shot dead, according to Israeli police.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has called on the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to carry out an investigation into what he called "state-sponsored killings of several Palestinians during the past few weeks."

The violence was sparked by Palestinian anger over what was seen as Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound. It is a holy site also for Jewish settlers as the location of two biblical Jewish temples.

UN Security Council member Jordan called for the talks after a meeting of Arab ambassadors on Thursday. They expressed alarm at the escalating situation in Jerusalem, amid fears that a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising, might begin.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour called on the Security Council to "shoulder its responsibility" with action to limit the violence.

The US joined in the criticism of Israeli use of force. "We've certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force," said US State Department spokesman John Kirby.