Israel, Palestine trade heated barbs at UN over Al-Aqsa visit


At a Security Council meeting, Israeli and Palestinian envoys to the United Nations debated the contentious visit of an Israeli minister to the Jerusalem Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, referred to the meeting as “pathetic” and “absurd,” while the Palestinian representative said that the Jewish state acted “with absolute contempt.”

Following a request from the United Arab Emirates and China, the 15-member Security Council discussed the visit on Thursday at the UN headquarters in New York, which has enraged Palestinians.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s permanent representative to the organization, told reporters prior to the meeting that there was “absolutely no reason” for the meeting to take place. He stated, “It is truly absurd to hold a session of the Security Council on a non-event.”

A wave of international condemnation, including from the United States, a long-time ally of Israel, was sparked by Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit on Tuesday, Israel’s new national security minister who is a controversial figure.

The third holiest site in Islam is Al-Aqsa mosque, which can be found in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. Jews refer to it as the Temple Mount because it is their most sacred location.

Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the site at specific times, but they are not permitted to pray there, despite the fact that some Israeli nationalists are thought to do so covertly, which enrages the Palestinians.

Erdan stated that Ben-Gvir’s visit was “in line with the status quo, and anyone who claims otherwise only exacerbates the situation.” It is pathetic to assert that this brief and entirely legitimate visit ought to precipitate an emergency session of the Security Council,” he added.

The fragile arrangement at Jerusalem’s holy sites was threatened, according to warnings from Western governments.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, said that Israel treated the Palestinians, the Security Council, and the entire international community “with absolute contempt.”

He urged council members to take action against Israel. In order for the Security Council to finally declare, “Enough is enough,” and act accordingly, what line must Israel cross? Mansour inquired.

“Any and all unilateral actions that depart from the historic status quo, which are unacceptable,” the US diplomat Robert Wood stated at the meeting.

According to what he said, “We urge both Israelis and Palestinians to take the necessary steps to restore calm, prevent further loss of life, and preserve the possibility of a two-state solution” to achieving peace in the Middle East.

Over the years, the UN Security Council has approved a number of resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and supports the Middle East peace solution between the two states.

Mansour expressed satisfaction at the “unanimity (of the Security Council) to defend the status quo” at the conclusion of the two-hour session, but he did not anticipate any further concrete action from the international organization.

Source: AFP

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