Washington also slammed Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
“This decision is contrary to international law, and also contravenes the commitments made by Israel at the meetings in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh. France calls on the Israeli government to reverse this decision,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
By JNS and EJP
The United States on Monday harshly criticized Israel’s decision to walk back legislation barring Israeli citizens from entering Homesh in northern Samaria.
“We are also concerned by today’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem and the accompanying inflammatory rhetoric,” Miller’s statement continued.
“This holy space should not be used for political purposes, and we call on all parties to respect its sanctity. More broadly, we reaffirm the longstanding U.S. position in support of the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites and underline Jordan’s special role as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem,” it said.
Ben-Gvir said during his visit to the site on Sunday that despite Hamas threats, Israel remains sovereign of the Temple Mount and all of Israel.
“I’m happy to ascend to the Temple Mount, the most important place for the people of Israel,” the Otzma Yehudit Party head said in a statement. “It should be said that the police are doing a wonderful job here and once again prove who owns the [the Temple Mount]in Jerusalem. All the threats from Hamas will not help—we are the owners of Jerusalem and the whole Land of Israel,” he continued.
Around 1,200 Jews visited the Temple Mount on Thursday, a day before Jerusalem Day. The annual flag march through the Old City and other festivities associated with the holiday, which marks the reunification of Israel’s capital during the 1967 Six-Day War, were also held on Thursday so as not to run up against the start of Shabbat.
Among those who visited the site on Thursday were several Knesset members, including Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee Minister Yitzhak Shimon Wasserlauf of Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit Party.
France condemned the decision of the Israeli authorities to allow the Jewish repopulation of the Homesh settlement as contrary to international law. “This decision is contrary to international law, and also contravenes the commitments made by Israel at the meetings in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh. France calls on the Israeli government to reverse this decision,” the French foreign mMinistry said in a statement.
The Quai d’Orsay also expressed concern after Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount on Sunday, and called on Israel to prevent “any provocation.” “France condemns the second provocative visit of the Israeli Minister of National Security to the Esplanade of the Mosques on May 21. France recalls the need to preserve the historical status quo on the holy sites in Jerusalem and stresses the importance of Jordan’s specific role in this regard,” the statement continued.
France recalled its commitment to the two-state solution. “France again calls on all actors to refrain from any unilateral measure or provocation likely to fuel tensions and violence, particularly against civilians. As the Minister recalled alongside her German, Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts on May 11 in Berlin, there is an urgent need to restore a credible political horizon to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state solution, the only solution that can bring a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”