US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone on Sunday evening with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat to express the US’ “serious concerns about the situation in Jerusalem, including violent confrontations” at Temple Mount during the last days of Ramadan.
Muslim rioters, incited by the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror organization, have been rioting on the Temple Mount and in other areas in Jerusalem in recent nights in Ramadan Riots.
According to the readout published by the White House, Sullivan “highlighted recent engagements by senior US officials with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and key regional stakeholders to press for steps to ensure calm, deescalate tensions, and denounce violence.”
Sullivan did not hold a similar conversation with a senior PA official or with a member of Hamas.
Sullivan also “reiterated the US’ serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.”
Israeli courts are slated to rule in the coming weeks on the status of 28 Arab families living illegally on Israel-owned land. The area has become the focal point for PA activity and Muslim nationalistic sentiments.
Sullivan “encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations.”
Israel celebrates the reunification of its capital and its victory in the 1967 Six-Day War on Jerusalem Day, marked this year on Monday, but has encountered significant violent Muslim resistance to the celebrations.
Jerusalem did not publish a readout of the conversation, but according to Israeli journalist Ariel Kahana, Ben-Shabbat rebuffed the Biden Administration’s intervention in Israel’s internal affairs and his apparent support for the Muslim rioters in Jerusalem.
Kahana reported on a “heated confrontation” between the two officials.
In response to Sullivan’s demand from Israel to bring calm in Jerusalem and refrain from evacuating the illegal residents of Sheikh Jarrah, Ben Shabbat replied that “Israel conducts the events from a sovereign position, with responsibility and discretion despite the provocations.”
According to an Israeli source Kahana quotes, Ben Shabbat stressed that “international intervention is a reward for the rioters and their senders who hoped to put pressure on Israel.”
Ben Shabbat also told Sullivan that if he was truly interested in calming the situation in Jerusalem “international pressure should be directed at the instigators and channels of incitement,” and chiefly the PA.