Palestinian terrorists are turning Temple Mount into weapons cache
The Temple Mount must not be used for violence threatening Jewish and Muslim worshippers, President Reuven Rivlin said in an emergency briefing for ambassadors of EU member states to Israel on Tuesday.
“We will not allow violence and disruption,” Rivlin said. “Palestinian extremists have turned the Temple Mount into a cache for weapons, and a base for attacks.”
Rivlin pointed out that after Jerusalem was attacked with rockets, hundreds more projectiles were fired at Israelis, sending thousands of children to bomb shelters.
“No country in the world would accept a situation like this. We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all means necessary,” he stated.
Among the attendees at the briefing were EU Ambassador to Israel Emmanuele Giaufret and ambassadors of Germany, Italy, France and Spain.
Rivlin mentioned that he hosted an Iftar meal, breaking the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, for Muslim ambassadors and local leaders.
“They all know that Jerusalem is an open city where people of all religions pray freely. During the month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslims have prayed safely on the Temple Mount, as they do throughout the year,” Rivlin said.
However, he added, “the provocations, the terrorist attacks and Hamas violence” has turned Ramadan into a nightmare.
Rivlin called for regional partnerships with Israel, to build trust and understanding that will lead to peace.
“There are no shortcuts. Peace cannot be based on a piece of paper. Peace cannot develop by attacking Israel in UN bodies or by harming Israel’s right to defend itself in the International Criminal Court. The EU can play a vital role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian cooperation to the benefit of all sides,” he stated.
On Monday, an EU spokesperson said that the firing of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel is totally unacceptable and feeds escalatory dynamics. All leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists.”
The EU called on Israel to reduce tensions, adding that the “status quo of the holy sites must be fully respected,” urging all sides to engage in de-escalatory efforts to prevent further civilian casualties.
“The significant upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank, including in east Jerusalem as well as in and around Gaza needs to stop immediately,” the spokesman added.