Saudi Arabia's King Salman
Saudi Arabia's King Salman Reuters

Saudi King Salman has appealed to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and members of the Security Council for "urgent measures" after clashes at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, state media reported late Wednesday.

Salman "expressed strong condemnation of the dangerous Israeli escalation" at the holy site where Palestinian rioters clashed with Israeli police for three straight days, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

"He called for serious and speedy international efforts and for the intervention of the Security Council to take all urgent measures to stop these violations," it said.

Salman added that the "attack on worshipers" violates the sanctity of religions "and contributes to feeding extremism and violence in the world."

SPA said Salman made the same appeal in phone calls to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande.    

Hollande warned on Wednesday that any change in the current rules governing the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - could lead to "serious destabilisation."

He was echoing calls by other states, including the US, to maintain a ban on Jewish prayer at the site despite its holy status for Jews, in order to placate Muslim extremists.

The Al Aqsa Mosque complex currently sits atop the ruins of two Jewish temples at the site.

Under longstanding regulations, Jews are allowed to visit but cannot pray there and are subjected to various other restrictions.

Jewish rights groups have protested the measures, but Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is committed to the "status quo."

Despite that, Islamist groups have repeatedly sought to stoke tensions, hold regular riots and have carried out numerous attacks with the objective of preventing Jews from ascending the Mount altogether - while alleging Israel is trying to alter the "status quo."

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