Israel on Friday rejected Palestinian calls for an international force to be deployed in East Jerusalem to promote calm around the Temple Mount and the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque.“Let me be crystal clear — Israel will not agree to any international presence on the Temple Mount. Such a presence would be a change in the status quo,” Israeli Deputy Ambassador David Roet told the UN Security Council.

The 15-member council met in an emergency session to discuss weeks of escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the territories. The urgent talks were requested by council member Jordan following a meeting on Thursday of Arab ambassadors who expressed alarm at the escalating situation. Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour had called on the Security Council to provide international protection to the holy site. But Roet said Israel was respectful of all religions in the city. Meanwhile, he said, the Palestinians were unwilling to acknowledge any Jewish rights to the capital’s holy sites. CONTINUE