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UN Security Council to discuss Ben-Gvir's ‘storming’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque

January 4, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of January holds a press conference at the UN Headquarters, on Tuesday January 3, 2023. [Selçuk Acar – Anadolu Agency]

The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency session to discuss the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque by far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. The session was called for by the UAE and China on behalf of the Palestinian and Jordanian UN missions, and could take place tomorrow, a diplomat told the Times of Israel.

The UAE, which normalised relations with Israel in 2020 in the Abraham Accords, condemned “the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard by an Israeli minister under the protection of Israeli forces.” It went on to call on the Israeli authorities “to assume responsibility for reducing escalation and instability in the region.”

Jordan’s foreign ministry also summoned Israel’s ambassador. “Jordan condemns in the severest of terms the storming of Al-Aqsa mosque and violation of its sanctity,” he was told by the ministry.

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The Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in the world for Muslims. Jews, on the other hand, refer to the area as the Temple Mount. Ben-Gvir stormed the mosque complex yesterday with illegal Jewish settlers under police protection, a day after he announced that he was postponing the visit due to warnings about it creating unrest.

The far-right politician’s visit was condemned by Palestinians as an “unprecedented provocation”. Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in November that “the whole world is concerned” about Ben-Gvir’s extremist views.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Six Day War. The occupation state annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognised by the international community.

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