‘Unacceptable’: US joins Hamas, Arab world in condemning Ben-Gvir’s Temple Mount visit

“Right-wing, left-wing, religious, secular, we are all the same people. When a terrorist looks out the window, he doesn’t discriminate between us,” the minister said.

By World Israel News Staff

An estimated 2,000 Jews, including lawmakers, ascended the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, on Thursday morning, on the holiday of Tisha b’Av, when Jews worldwide mourn the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was among them. His presence sparked international outrage, as the U.S., Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Hamas terror group condemned the lawmaker’s tour of the compound.

“This place is the most important place for the people of Israel, where we need to return and show our sovereignty,” Ben-Gvir told Hebrew-language media while touring the site.

“On this day, in this place, it’s very important to remember, we are all brothers. Right-wing, left-wing, religious, secular, we are all the same people. When a terrorist looks out the window, he doesn’t discriminate between us. Unity is important, and love of Israel is important,” he added.

Intense backlash from the Arab world, whose leaders consider the Temple Mount to be an exclusively Muslim site where Jews should be banned from praying or visiting, was swift.

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“We warn against the dangerous consequences of allowing the extremists to reach the Mount and allow them to carry out provocations,” the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry categorized Ben-Gvir’s walk-through of the site as a “flagrant violation of all international norms and agreements” and a “provocation to all Muslims around the world.”

The Biden administration also condemned the visit, saying it “stands firmly for the preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral action or rhetoric that jeopardizes the status quo is unacceptable.”

According to the status quo, Jews are barred from freedom of worship at the site.

In a statement, the Gaza-based Hamas terror group said Ben-Gvir’s visit was a “dangerous escalation” and pledged to “defend the identity of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and protect its Islamic and Arab character at all costs.”