The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the upsurge in violence between Israel and the Palestinians, diplomats said.
The urgent talks were requested by council member Jordan following a meeting on Thursday of Arab ambassadors who expressed alarm at the escalating situation. The meeting is scheduled for 11:00 am (1500 GMT).
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly called for calm following weeks of violence in the form of deadly terror attacks and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters.
Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters that the situation was “very explosive” and called on the Security Council to “shoulder its responsibility” with action to quell the violence.
Israeli security forces have deployed massively in Jerusalem as terror attacks by Palestinians this month, primarily centered around the capital, claimed at eight Israeli lives. Dozens of Palestinian protesters have also been killed in the violence.
The Palestinians have expressed outrage over claims that Israel is planning to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims, where Jews can visit but are not allowed to pray. Israel has repeatedly denied the accusations that it is seeking to alter the agreement at the site, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is also believed to be the location of the two ancient Jewish Temples.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday warned Abbas against inciting further violence. He told NPR radio that, “No amount of frustration is appropriate to license any violence anywhere at any time. No violence should occur. And the Palestinians need to understand.”
Abbas has not openly endorsed the attacks, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused him of inciting violence by calling for protests against Israel. At the UN last month, Abbas accused Israel of sending “extremists” into Al-Aqsa Mosque. On Wednesday, he alleged Israel was executing Palestinians in cold blood, and cited as an example a Palestinian teenager who had in fact perpetrated a terror attack, was alive, and was being treated in an Israeli hospital.
Jordan has warned Israel that bilateral ties could be damaged by the ongoing violence, and is reportedly willing to host a US-initiated summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to restore calm.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report