In light of the Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit Tuesday morning to the Temple Mount that has sparked angry reactions and condemnation, US State Department speaker Ned Price said that Washington will speak out against Israel at the United Nations Security Council debate late Thursday afternoon.
Reiterating the Biden administration’s firm stand against any changes to the status quo of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and for the preservation of the historic status quo with respect to all holy sites in Jerusalem, Price underscored that they plan to air that view at the UNSC meeting in New York.
Price once again noted that Ben-Gvir’s Tuesday visit to the Temple Mount, also known to Muslims as al-Haram, al-Sharif, was unacceptable just as is any unilateral action that departs from the historic status quo.
Pointing out that the Security Council debate was only scheduled because the UN is a distorted and biased body in which Israel is discriminated against, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan denounced the meeting as ridiculous and unnecessary.
Erdan pointed out that Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are not a violation of the status quo – and recalled that he had personally visited the Temple Mount as internal security minister – and that anyone who says otherwise causes security and stability to be undermined by misleading the public.
In a separate statement, Price also emphasized that the Biden administration is against Israeli plans to rebuild the West Bank settlement of Homesh that the IDF destroyed during the 2005 disengagement on that northern Samaria hilltop and to legalize the Homesh yeshiva.
Two days after the state informed the High Court of Justice of its plans to change its policy toward the Homesh hilltop, he called Israel to refrain from creating a new settlement, legalizing outposts, or allowing the building of any kind deep in the West Bank – adjacent to Palestinian communities or on private Palestinian land.