Israel is taking “unprecedented measures” to safeguard Muslim freedom of worship at the Temple Mount in Old City Jerusalem, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told ambassadors from Arab countries at an Iftar dinner on Monday to break the Ramadan fast.

A minority extremist group aims to harm these efforts, the defense minister told the ambassadors, noting: “It is important for us that this message is brought to the leaders of your countries.”

The Abraham Accords and the ties that have developed over the last year between Israel and Gulf states have “benefited the region tremendously,” said Gantz said, describing relations between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan as “beacons of stability,”  according to a statement released by his office.

“You are aware of the reality on the ground, and it is important to reflect it to the leaders of your countries,” he said.

Addressing the Iranian threat, Gantz said: “We all have an interest in maintaining regional peace and stability, particularly in the face of Iranian aggression, which is a global and regional threat first and foremost, and only then it is a threat to the State of Israel. Iran sponsors terror around the world, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran threatens us all.”

The defense minister provided updates to the ambassadors about his intention to reopen the Erez Border Crossing between Israel and Gaza after Israel closed it on April 23 in response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel the night before.

The dinner event was attended by the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Shrier; Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Abderrahim Bayoud; Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates H.E. Mohamed Al Khaja; UAE Deputy Chief of Mission, Khalifa Al Suwaidi; Bahrain Deputy Head of Mission Abdulkarim Ebrahim Abdulkarim Alanansari; and Counsellor at the Egyptian embassy, Walid Talaat Sayed Ahmed Mahdy. It was also attended by Knesset members Ruth Wasserman Lande and Ofir Akunis, who lead the Knesset Abraham Accords Caucus.


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