Barkat makes first public reference to recent controversy surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque, says clashes unlikely to escalate further. He asks both sides to 'put violence and provocations aside'
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday he did not believe the recent wave of riots sweeping through the capital signaled the beginning of a third intifada.
"It's unlikely and it's in no one's interest," he said in his first public statement regarding the riots, which broke out after the Jerusalem Police restricted access to al-Aqsa Mosque.
Access to the Temple Mount compound has been restricted since Sunday.
"We have to be able to put the violence and provocation aside. These are specific events, emanating from hubs of violence. We have to find these hubs, isolate them, stop them and move on."
Barkat expressed his support for the actions taken by the capital's police: "We had a quiet Ramadan, which allowed for the Muslim public to arrive here and worship in peace – the Jerusalem Police enabled that."
The mayor spoke while taking part in the traditional Sukkot march through the east Jerusalem's main streets.
The event is taking place under tight security and city officials said some 70,000 people are taking part in the parade.