Members of the United Nations Security Council expressed their concerns and stressed that the status quo at the Masjid al-Aqsa campus in Jerusalem should be preserved, but did not take any action days after Israel’s new far-right security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir. controversial visit to sitePalestinian leaders called it an “unprecedented provocation”.
Decades of status quo in Turkey Masjid al-Aqsa campus Only Muslims are allowed to worship in the region, which is the third holiest place in Islam after Mecca and Medina.
However, the site is also revered by Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. Israel’s far-right groups have long sought to change the status quo and allow Jews in the region to pray. Calls were also made by far-rightists for a Jewish temple to be built in place of Masjid al-Aqsa.
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour on Thursday urged the Security Council to take action against Israel over Ben-Gvir’s provocative actions. Israel’s new security minister is known for his racist incitement against Arabs, his opposition to the Palestinian state, and raids by settlers on the Al-Aqsa Mosque campus and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
“What red line does Israel have to cross for the Security Council to finally say enough is enough?” Mansur questioned the 15-member council, accusing Israel of showing “absolute disdain”.
Reporting from Al Jazeera’s UN headquarters in New York, Diplomatic Editor James Bays said Security Council members expressed concern about the situation at the Al-Aqsa campus and the dangers of escalation, “but their words were restrained and restrained, with little direct criticism of Israel.” ”.
Bays said that the Palestinian ambassador expressed regret for the council’s failure to act and warned the council about this. The situation could turn into a riot.
“All 15 members of the Security Council have, as always, reaffirmed their commitment to the two-state solution. But in recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his new government supports continued settlement on Palestinian land and further undermines the desired outcome internationally,” he said. .
Khaled Khiari, a senior UN political affairs official, said at the council meeting that this was the first visit by an Israeli cabinet minister to the region since 2017.
“While the visit was not accompanied by or followed by violence, Mr Ben-Gvir’s changes to the status quo are seen as particularly provocative given his past advocacy,” he said.
Ben-Gvir once called for the ban on Jewish prayer in the region to be lifted, but has been unsteady on the issue since he allied himself with Netanyahu. Other members of Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party still advocate such a move.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN described the Security Council meeting as “pathetic” and “absurd”.
Israeli representative Gilad Erdan before the session. He told reporters there was “absolutely no reason” for the meeting to be held.
“It’s really ridiculous to hold a Security Council session without incident,” he said.
Erdan said Ben-Gvir’s visit was “in line with the status quo and those who claim otherwise did nothing but inflame the situation.”
“It is pathetic to argue that this brief and perfectly legitimate visit should lead to an urgent Security Council meeting,” he said.
Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which have peace treaties with Israel, condemned the action they called Ben-Gvir’s “storm” against the Masjid al-Aqsa.
Amman summoned the Israeli ambassador and said the visit violated international law and “the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem”.
Saudi Arabia, with which Netanyahu wants to make a peace deal, also criticized Ben-Gvir. Turkey, which recently ended its long-running diplomatic friction with Israel, also condemned the visit as “provocative”.
Adhering to a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the United States is “concerned by any unilateral action that increases tensions or undermines the viability of a two-state solution”, the US aide to the UN said. Ambassador Robert Wood told the council on Thursday.
“We note that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s administration platform calls for the preservation of the status quo regarding holy places. We expect the Israeli government to honor this commitment,” Wood said.
The UN Security Council has passed several resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years and supports a two-state solution for peace in the Middle East.
Leave a Comment