Nickolay Mladenov
Nickolay MladenovReuters

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN envoy to the Middle East, on Monday said that the crisis over new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount must be resolved by Friday.

"It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday this week," Mladenov said after briefing the UN Security Council.

"The dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis," he warned, according to AFP.

The Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss ways to defuse the tensions at the Temple Mount.

Israel placed magnetometers at the entrance to the Temple Mount in response to the recent terror attack at the compound, in which two Druze police officers were murdered.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Jordanian Waqf, which administers the site, view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site. They have refused to enter the compoundin protest and have prayed in the streets outside.

Egypt, France and Sweden requested Monday's council meeting as U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy Jason Greenblatt arrived in Israel for talks on easing tensions.

Mladenov said he urged council members to use their influence with Israel and the PA to encourage both sides to de-escalate tensions and to preserve access for worshippers.

"It is critically important that the status quo is preserved in Jerusalem," he said.

While the violence is taking place "over a couple of hundred square meters... they have the potential to have catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City, well beyond Israel and Palestine, well beyond the Middle East itself," Mladenov warned.

Later on Monday night, the Security Cabinet decided that the magnetometers will be removed from the Temple Mount and replaced by security measures based on advanced technologies.