UAE joins Gulf states, Islamic nations in condemning Ben-Gvir’s Al-Aqsa mosque visit

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The UAE has joined Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern and Islamic nations in condemning the storming of al-Aqsa mosque by the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

In a statement Thursday slamming the far-right minister, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it condemned Ben-Gvir “who has previous racist positions and statements, and extremists under the protection of the Israeli police.”

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The government body reaffirmed the need for protective measures at the third holiest Islamic holy site and called on Israeli authorities to “halt escalation and avoid exacerbating tension and instability in the region,” in a statement.

The Ministry also iterated “the need to respect the custodial role” of Jordan over the site as per international law and “not to compromise the authority of the Jerusalem Endowment Administration that manages the affairs of al-Aqsa Mosque.”

It also added that the UAE “rejected of all practices that violate resolutions on international legitimacy and threaten further escalation,” calling for an end to “practices that threaten the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The UAE routinely denounces Israeli actions that impact Palestinians or stir unrest in the conflict-stricken nation despite trade and investment ties between the UAE and Israel having grown since the signing of the Abraham Accords agreement in 2020, during which the two countries established diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and the Arab League have also released statements condemning the visit.

Ben-Gvir’s visit to the disputed hilltop compound came as Israelis and the Palestinians are locked in a year-and-a-half long bout of fighting that could enflame already surging tensions. The site is revered by Jews and Muslims, and the competing claims lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It was Ben-Gvir’s third known visit to the site since becoming a minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government.

With The Associated Press

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