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Home Politics 05/January/2023 04:33 PM

UN Security Council to convene over Israeli far-right minister’s incursion into Al-Aqsa

UN Security Council to convene over Israeli far-right minister’s incursion into Al-Aqsa

NEW YORK, Thursday, January 05, 2023 (WAFA) – The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to convene later today over Israeli far-right minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s recent incursion into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The 15-member Council will convene at 10:00 pm (Palestine time) (20:00 GMT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York following a request jointly made by the Palestinian and Jordanian missions to the United Nations (UN) and submitted by the United Arab Emirates and China.

Palestine’s ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour stated that “the international community is the party to decide the fate of the status quo in Jerusalem in defense of the Islamic and Christian sites.”

He made his remarks following a meeting with the Arab ambassadors, representatives of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the 120-member Nonaligned Movement (NAM), the UN Committee for Palestinian Rights, and the UNSC President on Wednesday night. 

Pointing to the broader environment of extremism surrounding the most extremist government in Israel’s history, Mansour said: “Because of extremist environment, the attacks are not only against Islamic sites but are also against our Christian sites and graveyards.”

He called on the 15-member Council to unequivocally reject the fascism of the new Israeli government and take concrete action.

“The international community has to speak with one voice in rejecting those terrorists and elements of fascists in the Israeli government,” he said.

“We will not be satisfied with only statements at the Security Council. We want them to be implemented in a concrete way,” he added.

Calling for international guarantees for honoring the long-standing status quo, Mansour said: “We want this behavior not to be repeated in Al-Haram Al-Sharif. We want a guarantee of honoring and respecting the historic status quo in deeds not just in words.”

Ben Gvir, an advocate for formally altering the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, barged his way into the mosque courtyards in the early morning hours of Tuesday in a highly provocative move that drew a flood of fierce international condemnations.

While this is the first time Ben-Gvir storms Al-Aqsa as a cabinet minister, he stormed if before while only a lawmaker. In May last year, accompanied by his wife and son, Ben-Gvir posted a picture calling for the destruction of the site to "establish a synagogue on the mountain".

When former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a similar trip to the site in 2000, it sparked the Second Palestinian Intifada (uprising).

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered the third holiest site in Islam. According to the decades-long status quo, only Muslims are allowed to hold prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while non-Muslims can visit the site but not hold any rituals.

Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by Israel since 1967.



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