The Minister of State for International Cooperation in the United Arab Emirates, Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy summoned Israeli Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek on Tuesday over efforts by Israeli police to quell the Arab violence in the Temple Mount compound and elsewhere in the Old City of Jerusalem that has been taking place daily since last Friday.
This is the first time Hayek has been summoned since his arrival in the country last October.
UAE Warns Israel Over Temple Mount
The UAE minister’s office said she warned Israel that “full protection” must be provided to Arab worshipers on the Temple Mount, known in Arabic as Haram al-Sharif, and “expressed concern over the escalation of tension that threatens the stability and security of the region.”
The minister also emphasized the importance of respecting the custodial role of Jordan on the Temple Mount.
In addition, the minister underlined the need to resume negotiations for “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with legitimate international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
The annual Arab campaign of Ramadan lies has been particularly successful this year in stirring up outrage and fear in the region by claiming that Israel plans to disrupt the status quo on the Temple Mount, and that Israeli “settlers” have been “storming” the Al Aqsa Mosque.
US Also Pressures Israel
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken likewise believed the lies and exerted pressure on Israel to “restore calm.” But in a telephone conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Blinken heard different information.
I told @SecBlinken that Israel will not tolerate calls in support of violence, and I emphasized the need for international support for returning calm to Jerusalem.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid? (@yairlapid) April 19, 2022
Lapid updated Blinken about Israel’s efforts to ensure freedom of worship to followers of all three religions in Jerusalem. “The two discussed the importance of Passover, Easter, and Ramadan,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Lapid emphasized Israel’s “responsible and measured efforts in the face of riots by hundreds of Islamic extremists on the Temple Mount, as well as falsehoods and disinformation spread by extremists which are fanning the flames of violence instead of bringing about calm,” the ministry said.
The foreign minister also told the Secretary is “not willing to tolerate calls in support of violence, and emphasized the need for international support for returning calm to Jerusalem.”
UAE Leads UN Pressure Against Israel
At the United Nations, the United Arab Emirates — Israel’s “peace partner” and co-signer of the historic Abraham Accords — also led a group of five member states this week in calling for an emergency session of the Security Council.
The four other countries led by the UAE delegation included France, China, Ireland and Norway.
The meeting was held behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the violence on the Temple Mount.
In advance of the session, Israel’s foreign ministry sent each delegation a communique that included video clips of Arabs hurling rocks and other objects at Israeli police and soldiers on the Temple Mount and in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
Included in the communique was a message insisting that Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.
‘Unanimity in Standing Against This Aggression’
Following the session, Palestinian Authority UN envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters at a stakeout the meeting was called to discuss the “explosive situation in East Jerusalem, in particular Haram al-Sharif and Al Aqsa Mosque during this very important time of the holy month of Ramadan.”
Mansour told reporters, “We know what each delegation said, and one can say that there was unanimity in the closed meeting of the Security Council in standing against this aggression, respecting the historic status quo on Al Aqsa Mosque and on Haram al-Sharif, and acknowledging the custodianship of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
“But in our opinion, that is not sufficient,” he went on. “We need more, and that’s why we keep knocking on the door of the Security Council and all components of the United Nations, including the good offices of the Secretary-General.”
Bennett Caves, Closes Temple Mount to Jews
In response to the pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett decided late Tuesday to close the Temple Mount to Jews, starting this weekend, until the end of Ramadan despite its status as Judaism’s holiest site.
Temple Mount activist Tom Nisani told JewishPress.com that Israeli police will also be removed from the site, a particularly risky move, if not altogether dangerous, given the attacks on Jews praying in the nearby Western Wall plaza carried out by Arabs using the compound as a base.
Bennett’s Decision Follows Demands by Ra’am
The closure also coincides with the first of five demands by Mansour Abbas and his Islamic Ra’am party, as a condition for their return to Bennett’s coalition.
The first demand was to end to all Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
Specifically, Abbas demanded that Israel sign “a commitment to maintaining the status quo in the Al Aqsa Mosque (on the Temple Mount) and the holy places, and preventing prayer by Jews in the Temple Mount plazas.”
Palestinian Authority Thanks Jordan, Makes Further Demands
In his statement, Mansour thanked “all those who expressed support” in the Security Council meeting for “condemnation of this aggression by the Israeli occupying authorities in storming Al Aqsa Mosque and the Haram al-Sharif along with extreme settlers, with complete disregard to the sensitive feelings of the Palestinian Muslims who are worshiping during this very important time of Al Aqsa Mosque.”
Mansour called for the immediate withdrawal of “all Israeli occupying forces” from the compound, and “the complete withdrawal of these forces in addition to the release of all those who have been arrested since last Friday in the compound.”
The Palestinian Authority, he said, calls on the Security Council – together with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres — to provide “international protection for our people from this onslaught against our people in this holy month of Ramadan.”
Mansour added special thanks to “our brothers in Jordan” who have called for an emergency ministerial meeting of the Jerusalem Committee of the League of Arab States, to be held this coming Thursday, “to take further steps in this regard.”
A meeting is being held on Wednesday with the Caucus of the Non-Aligned Movement of the Security Council, he said, to “keep the pressure on the Security Council to stop this aggression against Al Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif, which we condemn in the strongest terms.”
All these steps, Mansour added, are “in preparation” for the open debate in the Security Council, to be held April 25.