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Peace and Conflict

UN Security Council to meet over Ben-Gvir's Temple Mount visit

Meeting expected to be convened at UAE and China's request on Thursday according to diplomatic sources following condemnation by U.S., Europeans and Arab nations of the provocative visit

Source: Ynet

The United Arab Emirates and China have asked the U.N. Security Council to meet publicly, over recent developments at Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, diplomats said on Tuesday.

The meeting will likely be scheduled for Thursday, according diplomatic sources.

The site is considered holy by both Muslims and Jews.

The UAE joined the Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar in condemning the first visit by an Israeli government minister to the Temple Mount in five years.

While government ministers have come to the site in the past, it remains a flash point for escalations between Palestinians and Israelis. Most notably, late prime minister Ariel Sharon's visit there in 2000 is seen as the straw that broke the camel's back in sparking the Second Intifada.

Ben-Gvir is a controversial figure in Israel, with opponents from a broad spectrum of Israeli political stances. His visit was condemned in newspapers affiliated with ultra-Orthodox groups, whose rabbis generally consider such tours on the site against Jewish law.

However, his visit was reportedly cleared by Netanyahu.

Israel's Opposition Leader Yair Lapid earlier said the visit could incite violence, and Hamas warned Israel against such a move. Some clashes were reported in Jerusalem, but Israel has yet to experience any serious backlash.

A rocket was launched Tuesday night from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, although it did not pass the security fence. This likely indicates it was shot by one of the other militant groups in the Palestinian enclave, and that Hamas is - for the time being - not responding to what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called a "provocation."

Abbas said he would go to the UN Security Council over Ben-Gvir's tour.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration opposes "any unilateral actions that undercut the historic status quo."