Ban Ki-Moon in Surprise Visit to Israel, PA

UN chief records video message to Arabs and Jews, apportions blame for violence equally.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Reuters

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was set to begin an unannounced visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday after a three week Arab terror campaign, a UN official told AFP.

"He will arrive today for a two-day visit to Israel and Palestine," the official said on condition of anonymity, without elaborating on Ban's program.

Ban also recorded a video message to Arabs and Jews, which apportioned blame for the current violence equally and warned against extremism on both sides. He called on Arabs to lay down their "weapons of despair" and adopt non-violent means of protest, and told Jews that "walls, checkpoints, harsh responses by security forces and house demolitions" will not bring security.

Ban's visit follows a wave of Arab terror in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet this week with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Germany as well as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Kerry is seeking to “upgrade and clarify” the understandings reached by Israel and Jordan last year on the Temple Mount status quo in an effort to quell the current wave of violence, Israeli officials close to the matter told Haaretz on Monday night.

One of the ideas being examined is putting the understandings between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II in writing, according to those officials.

Kerry told a news conference in Madrid on Monday that in discussions he’d had with Netanyahu and Abdullah, the two expressed a desire to enter a process that would uphold the status quo on the Mount and “make sure everybody understands what that means.”

“We need to have clarity,” said Kerry.




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