In calls for “de-escalation,” no mention is made of Palestinians instigating violence on the Temple Mount or rocket launchings from the Gaza Strip.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday that he was disappointed with the international body’s reaction to the violence instigated by the Palestinians over recent days, both at the Temple Mount and at the Israel-Gaza border.
The UN did not condemn Hamas for launching rocket attacks at Israel over the last six days. One missile from Gaza was intercepted by the Iron Dome system on Monday night, another hit the empty garden of a house in Sderot on Wednesday evening, and three more were fired on Friday night. Two of them hit empty spaces and one fell short in the Strip, seriously wounding one Palestinian and lightly injuring three others.
“The international community must not serve the agenda of terrorist organizations. Israel is the stabilizing force,” Bennett told Guterres, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“If we did not uphold order, tens of thousands of Muslims would not be able to pray,” he added, referring to the masses of Arab worshipers who have ascended the Mount daily to pray during their holy month of Ramadan, which began in the beginning of April.
Bennett explained to Guterres that the Israeli forces were reacting to Palestinian violence, which was anything but spontaneous. The rioters had “prepared stones and Molotov cocktails in advance to use from within the [Al-Aqsa] mosque,” he said.
Hundreds of Arabs have been arrested for throwing rocks both at the police and at Jewish worshipers praying below the Mount at the Western Wall. Dozens of Palestinians and several policemen were injured in the clashes, which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan are blaming solely on Israeli “provocations.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has even charged that the Israeli government is planning to divide the Mount into Jewish and Muslim sections, much like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid strongly denied the claim.
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council met in an emergency session at Jordan’s request to discuss the violence on the Temple Mount.
After the session, European members of the Council condemned the rocket-fire and recent terror attacks in Israel in their statement while calling for “all sides to exercise maximum restraint” and for “calm and de-escalation.”
UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland was careful not to blame anyone.
“Leaders on all sides have a responsibility to reduce tensions, create the conditions for calm and ensure the status quo at the Holy Sites is protected,” he said, adding a general warning against “provocations, spreading of misinformation and incitement to violence.”
Israel has closed the Erez Crossing into Gaza in response to the rocket attacks, in addition to hitting Hamas targets in the Strip in several airstrikes.
Lapid told American officials on Friday that Israel is trying to stop the “Islamist extremist terror” and that “Hamas and the world must know that Israel will act and do what is necessary to defend its citizens’ security.”