UN chief warns against tensions in Old City of Jerusalem

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UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned against new tensions in the Old City of Jerusalem between Jews and Muslims.

"The secretary-general is following with concern the heightened tensions in and around the Holy Sites of the Old City of Jerusalem," said Farhan Haq, Guterres' deputy spokesman.

"He (Guterres) underscores that the status quo must be upheld and fully respected. He calls upon community, religious and political leaders on all sides to refrain from provocative action and rhetoric, in the interest of peace and stability," said Haq.

At least 1,300 Jews on Sunday visited the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem to mark the Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av, despite tensions between Palestinians and Israeli police.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a site holy to both Muslims and Jews, the latter of whom call it the Temple Mount. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and annexed it shortly later, claiming it part of its "indivisible" capital, in a move unrecognized by most of the international community. Enditem

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