Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and US condemn Israeli minister’s ‘insensitive, provocative’ visit to Al-Aqsa compound
ISLAMABAD/RIYADH – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United States and other countries strongly condemned the “insensitive and provocative” visit of the Israeli minister of National Security to the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The move by far-right Itamar Ben-Gvir angered the Palestinians, Muslim world and other countries as they warned that such moves posed threats to the fragile status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
In a statement, the Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the Al-Aqsa is a holy site revered by Muslims around the world. Violation of its sanctity offends the religious sensitivities of Muslims and inflames an already tense situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
It said Israel must cease its illegal actions and respect the sanctity of Muslim religious sites in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The FO reiterated Pakistan’s strong support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people. It said Pakistan renews its call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions.
The Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry termed the visit a provocative action by the Israeli official. It renewed the kingdom’s firm position to stand alongside people of Palestinian and to support all efforts aimed at ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
On the other hand, United Arab Emirates and China have asked the UN Security Council to meet over recent developments at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Abu Dhabi “strongly condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard by an Israeli minister”.
The United States and its allies also condemned the visit of the Israeli minister. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said a change to the status quo of the holy site would not be accepted.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was “deeply concerned” by Ben-Gvir’s visit, which could spark violence. “provoke violence.”
Meanwhile, A United Nations spokesman said Secretary General Antonio Guterres called “on all to refrain from steps that could escalate tensions in and around the holy sites”.