The rights of every inhabitant of Jerusalem must be respected

– Jerusalem is a holy city for many. Respect for each other’s faiths must prevail, not least during religious holidays. The integrity of the holy sites and the historic status quo must be upheld and fully respected, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The situation in Jerusalem is tense and escalating. During the last weekend of Ramadan there have been serious incidents at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, leading to many injured, among them several children. Several Palestinian families have been notified that they will be evicted from their homes in the neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

According to the UN, more than 200 Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem, including more than 400 children, are threatened with eviction. Most of the threats of evictions result from claims by settler organisations on Palestinian properties. Israel has also recently announced expansion of the Har Homa settlement. All settlement activity on occupied territory violates international law.

– In this tense situation, I appeal to political, religious and other leaders to do all they can to de-escalate the conflict. Threats, incitements and the use of violence are unacceptable and must stop. The security and rights of the inhabitants must be respected. Freedom of expression and the right to assembly must be upheld in a peaceful manner, says the Foreign Minister.