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US accuses Israel of ‘exacerbating tensions’ which could ‘lead to violence’

State Department slams Minister Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price briefs reporters in Washington, May 11, 2021. Credit: U.S. State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price briefs reporters in Washington, May 11, 2021. Credit: U.S. State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price this week accused Israel of actions that could provoke Palestinian violence.

“We are deeply concerned by the visit of the Israeli minister at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. This visit has the potential of exacerbating tensions and lead to violence,” Price said.

On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) responded to Price’s statement via Twitter, saying, “If the Biden Administration is concerned about violence in Israel, they should condemn the Palestinian terrorists causing it. Not our Israeli friends.”

Omri Ceren, national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), responded, “Team Biden has strong opinions on where elected Israeli government officials walk around in their own country.”

When Ben-Gvir’s intended visit was announced on Sunday, Hamas proclaimed that violence could result, threatening it would “blow up the situation.” Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanou insisted that the “criminal Ben-Gvir’s announcement of his intention to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque reflects the arrogance of the fascist settler government and its premeditated intentions to escalate incursions and attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque with the aim of dividing it.”

Numerous Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey also issued condemnations of the visit. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed he would demand a Security Council resolution on the matter.

Ben-Gvir remained undeterred by the Islamist terror group’s threats of violence. He tweeted on Tuesday (translated from Hebrew), “The Israeli government of which I am a member will not surrender to a vile murdering organization. The Temple Mount is open to everyone and if Hamas thinks that if it threatens me it will deter me, let them understand that times have changed. There is a government in Jerusalem!”

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