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US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt condemn Israeli minister’s visit to Temple Mount

The Saudis called Itamar Ben-Gvir's a "provocative action" and urged Israel "to act responsibly." They also warned that such visits could "cause an escalation in the region."

View of the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City from the Mount of Olives observatory, Jan. 28, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
View of the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City from the Mount of Olives observatory, Jan. 28, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

The Biden administration denounced Tuesday’s visit to the Temple Mount by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir as “unacceptable.”

“The United States stands firmly for preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem. We oppose any unilateral actions that undercut the historic status quo. They are unacceptable,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said he “has been very clear in conversations with the Israeli government on the issue of preserving the status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites,” and that “actions that prevent that are unacceptable,” The Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia called Ben-Gvir’s visit a “provocative action” and urged Israel “to act responsibly.” The Saudis also said such visits could “cause an escalation in the region.”

Egypt warned against “negative repercussions of such measures on security and stability in the occupied territories and the region, and on the future of the peace process.”

The United Arab Emirates has requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over Ben-Gvir’s visit.

Jordan denounced Ben-Gvir “in the severest of terms [for] the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and violation of its sanctity.”

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