US Says Visit of Israel’s National Security Minister ‘Provocative’

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us, israel, palestine, israeli-palestinian conflict, israeli national security minister itamar ben-gvir, temple mount, jerusalem, islam, judaism, us state department

us, israel, palestine, israeli-palestinian conflict, israeli national security minister itamar ben-gvir, temple mount, jerusalem, islam, judaism, us state department

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has condemned the visit of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the US State Department said.

Ben-Gvir, who advocates a tougher stance on the Palestinian issue, visited the Temple Mount on Sunday in what was his second visit since January to the site considered holy in Judaism and Islam alike.

“We are also concerned by today’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem and the accompanying inflammatory rhetoric. This holy space should not be used for political purposes, and we call on all parties to respect its sanctity,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a Sunday statement.

“More broadly, we reaffirm the longstanding U.S. position in support of the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites and underline Jordan’s special role as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem,” Miller added.

The US State Department said it was “troubled” by the Israeli government’s decision to allow its citizens to establish a permanent presence in the Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank.

“This order is inconsistent with both former Prime Minister Sharon’s written commitment to the Bush Administration in 2004 and the current Israeli government’s commitments to the Biden Administration. Advancing Israeli settlements in the West Bank is an obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution,” Miller said.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed Egypt and Jordan in their strong condemnation of the visit by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Temple Mount.

Relations between Israel and Palestine have been adversarial since the founding of Israel in 1948. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition of their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli government has refused to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and has been constructing settlements in the occupied areas despite objections from the United Nations.





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