Sullivan tells Israeli counterpart US has 'serious concerns' about Jerusalem violence

National security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanBiden must be firm, but measured, in his message to Putin on cyberattacks NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy NATO tackling climate change for first time MORE spoke with his Israeli counterpart on Sunday and expressed “serious concerns about the situation in Jerusalem," pointing to violence that occurred at the Temple Mount during Ramadan and the eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

According to a statement from National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne, Sullivan spoke to Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat by phone. Horne said he touched on recent communication between senior U.S. and Israeli officials that called for calm.

He also reiterated "the United States’ serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood," according to a readout of the call.


"Mr. Sullivan encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations," Horne's statement read, adding that Sullivan "expressed the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security and to supporting peace and stability throughout the Middle East, and assured Mr. Ben-Shabbat that the U.S. will remain fully engaged in the days ahead to promote calm in Jerusalem."

Sullivan's appeal to Ben-Shabbat comes shortly after the State Department said it was "extremely concerned" about the growing violence in Jerusalem following reports of hundreds of people injured in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli authorities near Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

The clashes are believed to have had to do with evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and attacks on Israeli soldiers.

“The United States is extremely concerned about ongoing confrontations in Jerusalem, including on the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount and in Sheikh Jarrah, which have reportedly resulted in scores of injured people,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Friday. “We call on Israeli and Palestinian officials to act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.”

“We are also deeply concerned about the potential eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods of Jerusalem, many of whom have lived in their homes for generations," Price added. "As we have consistently said, it is critical to avoid steps that exacerbate tensions or take us farther away from peace. This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism."

On Sunday, the neighboring country of Jordan condemned Israel for the attacks on worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Jordan’s King Adubullah demanded that Israel stop “dangerous provocations," and accused it of trying to change the demographic status of Jerusalem.