TORONTO (AA): The United States expressed concern on Monday over Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.
“We are deeply concerned by the visit to Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. We believe this holy space should not be used for political purposes,” said Matthew Miller, spokesperson for State Department, at a press briefing.
Miller invited all parties to respect the sanctity of holy spaces.
On Sunday, Ben-Gvir forced his way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. Once inside, he claimed Israel’s ownership of the holy site.
Several other countries, including Türkiye, France, Jordan, Qatar, and Egypt, condemned the provocation and the minister’s inflammatory rhetoric.
The spokesman also expressed deep concern over the Israeli government’s recent decision to permit citizens to establish permanent residency in the northern West Bank.
“We are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s recent order that allows citizens to establish permanent residence in the northern West Bank, which according to Israeli law, is illegally built on private Palestinian land,” Miller said, when asked about the continued settlement projects at the expense of the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem.
Miller termed the Israeli government’s order as “inconsistent”.