UN Chief Guterres Welcomes Diffusion of Crisis in Jerusalem

UN Secretary-General has welcomed the news of the diffusion of the Jerusalem crisis, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement on Thursday.

"The Secretary-General welcomes the news that the crisis in the Old City of Jerusalem has been defused, in line with the status quo at the holy sites before 14 July," Haq stated.

Earlier on Thursday, the Israeli authorities decided to remove the remaining barriers at the entrances to the Temple Mount in a bid to ease Arab-Israeli tensions triggered by the placing of barriers and metal detectors to ensure safety.

Local media reported that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein has declared an end to the dispute over a holy Muslim and Jewish site and encouraged worshipers to pray at its premises.

Meanwhile, western media report of clashes erupting between Israeli police, Palestinian stone-throwers in Jerusalem after the Temple was reopened.

On July 14, two Israeli police officers were killed near Temple Mount, which is the third holiest site in Islam. 

The Israeli authorities responded by placing metal detectors, video cameras and barriers to ensure safety at the site, but the measures caused Palestinians to riot in Jerusalem as well as the West Bank.