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Middle East conflict: UN Security Council wants emergency aid for Gaza, Temple Mount in Jerusalem reopens for Jews after ceasefire

The latest developments

From May 10 to May 21, a bloody conflict raged between Palestinian militants and Israeli security forces, killing 240 people. A ceasefire has been in effect since Friday (May 21).

The latest developments

  • After the ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, the UN Security Council advocated rapid humanitarian aid for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. In a statement on Saturday (May 23), he also emphasized the urgency to achieve lasting peace in the region - with the goal of "two democratic states", Israel and Palestine, peacefully side by side. American President Joe Biden and the European Union are also pushing for such a solution.
  • After a three-week ban on entry, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was reopened to Jewish visitors on Sunday (May 23rd). The holy site had been closed to Jews during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan due to severe confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. On Friday, after the ceasefire on the Temple Mount, there were new clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. According to Palestinian rescue workers, 15 people were injured by rubber bullets from the police. According to the Israeli police, stones and incendiary devices had previously been thrown from a crowd of hundreds of young people. There were several arrests on Saturday.
  • Two days after a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict came into force, civilian government agencies in the Palestinian coastal area are back to work. Civil authorities and offices will open their doors again on Sunday, a spokesman for the local government announced on Saturday (May 22nd) in Gaza. The civil administration in the Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist Hamas. They stopped working when the Israeli air strikes began on May 10th.
  • One day after the riot on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Israeli police arrested nine people, according to Palestinians. As the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Saturday (May 22nd), citing eyewitnesses, five men were taken into custody in their homes in East Jerusalem and in the Old City, as well as four others near the Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to the report, security forces arrested dozens of Palestinians on Friday. There was initially no confirmation from the Israeli side.
  • According to American President Joe Biden, the conflict between Israeli and Palestinians can only be pacified in the long term through a two-state solution. "That is the only answer, the only answer," emphasized Biden on Friday (May 21) in the White House. The agreed ceasefire offers the opportunity to make progress in this direction. He will "pray" that it will hold. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given him his word, and he had never broken his word with him. At the same time, Biden emphasized that Hamas was a terrorist organization. Nevertheless, for the sake of the civilian population, the US was determined to support the reconstruction in the Gaza Strip through the Palestinian Authority with a "large aid package". A lasting peace is only possible as soon as all actors in the region unequivocally “recognize Israel's right to exist as an independent Jewish state”.
  • Around twelve hours after the ceasefire began, new clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces broke out on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to Palestinian rescue workers, 15 people were treated after police used rubber bullets, among other things. According to the Israeli police, stones and incendiary devices were previously thrown from a crowd of hundreds of young people. As a result, police officers advanced onto the site. Many who had gathered for prayer on the Temple Mount left the facility before the confrontations. Despite the unrest in Jerusalem, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continued the second night.
  • After the ceasefire in the Gaza conflict came into force, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of “new rules” with regard to the Islamist Hamas. Israel will react with extreme severity to new rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, he warned on Friday (May 21) during a visit to the military headquarters in Tel Aviv. "We changed the equation not only for the time of the operation, but also for the future."
  • Swiss, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will be flying to Tel Aviv again from Sunday. This was announced by the Lufthansa Group on Friday (May 21st). The connection was suspended on May 13 because of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
  • The American Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to travel to the Middle East in the coming days to meet with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and other foreign ministers from the region. This is what Blinken said on Thursday (May 20th) in a telephone conversation with the Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, as the American State Department announced. After the ceasefire in the Gaza conflict came into force, the European Union also offered its support in the search for a lasting peace solution. "The restoration of a political horizon for a two-state solution remains of the utmost importance," said EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell on Friday (May 21). "The EU stands ready to fully support the Israeli and Palestinian authorities in these efforts."
  • An Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants went into effect early Friday morning. From 2:00 a.m. local time (1:00 a.m. CEST), Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army are said to cease fire. Just minutes before the ceasefire began, Palestinian militants fired rockets in the direction of Israel and Israel's air force fired at targets in the coastal strip. Initially, nothing was known about new victims. Both sides warned that if the other side did not abide by the agreement that Egypt had threaded, it would be null and void. American President Joe Biden has welcomed the ceasefire as a real opportunity to make progress in the Middle East towards lasting peace. UN Secretary General António Guterres called on all sides to abide by the agreement. Now it has to be a quick reconstruction and a resumption of serious talks. Russia also called for direct negotiations. A new conflict can only be prevented through talks between the two parties, said a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The escalation in pictures