Palestinian diplomat stresses importance of UNSC session on Al-Aqsa Mosque issue

by IANS |

Ramallah, Jan 5 (IANS) The upcoming UN Security Council (UNSC) session is important because of its "speedy convening and the unification of the international community in condemning and rejecting (Israeli National Security Minister) Itamar Ben-Gvir's action", a Palestinian diplomat said on Wednesday.

The UNSC will hold an emergency session on Thursday to discuss the recent visit by Ben-Gvir to Jerusalem's holy site Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, reports Xinhua news agency.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine's envoy to the UN, said in a statement that Ben-Gvir's action came with "the approval of the most right-wing government in the history of Israel".

Mansour said, "a meeting for the Council of Arab Ambassadors and another for the Islamic group will be held in New York before the session, and a meeting of a joint Palestinian Arab-Islamic delegation will be held with the Security Council's president".

Ben-Gvir on Tuesday visited the flashpoint holy site's compound in East Jerusalem, which was denounced by the Palestinian side as a provocation.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had assigned the Palestine Mission afterwards in New York to go to the UN Security Council to confront the "attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque", said an official statement.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is regarded by Muslims as their third-holiest site and Jews as their most sacred.

The holy site has been administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian body, since 1948.

Under a 1967 agreement between Israel and Jordan, non-Muslim worshippers can visit the compound but are prohibited from praying there.

The Minister's visit has been condemned by a number of Islamic nations, including Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Iran, among others.

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