A united nations meeting, the palestinian ambassador accused israel of showing “absolute contempt” for the international community and demanded the un take action in response to the visit made by itamar ben-gvir, israel’s new national security minister. the minister’s visit was seen by palestinians as provocative due to ben-gvir’s past anti-arab statements and previous conviction of incitement to racism.
Monday, the controversial visit took place at the contested holy site located in east jerusalem, which is considered the most sensitive site in the israeli-palestinian conflict. jews refer to it as the temple mount, the site of two biblical temples, while muslims call it haram al-sharif, the site of muhammad’s ascent to heaven.
Visit was seen by palestinians as an attempt to change the delicate status quo of the holy compound, which is considered to be al-aqsa mosque by muslims and only allows muslim prayer. jews and other non-muslims are allowed to visit but not pray. in response to ben-gvir’s visit, the un security council held an emergency meeting. gilad erdan, israel’s ambassador, argued that the palestinian objections were motivated by “jew-hatred and antisemitism” and were an attempt to alter the character, status and identity of jerusalem. he declared it “absurd” that the security council had felt the need to discuss the “peaceful 13-minute visit of a jewish minister to the holiest jewish site”.