PM invokes Islamic State’s destruction of Palmyra in rejecting French proposal to post observers at Jerusalem holy site
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated his rejection of a French proposal to deploy international monitors at the Temple Mount amid a recent spate of violence, saying Israel is “not the problem” at the volatile Jerusalem shrine, but rather the “solution” there.
“Israel cannot accept the French draft at the [UN] Security Council. It doesn’t mention Palestinian incitement, it doesn’t mention Palestinian terrorism, and it calls for the internationalization of the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
France submitted a draft proposal on the issue to the UN Security Council on Friday evening, which Netanyahu on Saturday slammed as “absurd.”
The French proposal “calls for the internationalization of the holy places in the Middle East,” he said on Sunday. “Well, we’ve seen across the Middle East – in Palmyra, in Iraq, throughout Iraq and elsewhere — how militant Muslims blast each other’s mosques sky-high. We’ve just seen it in a Jewish holy site, Joseph’s Tomb. Only Israel, Israel alone, is the guarantor of the holy sites on the Temple Mount.”
Palmyra is an internationally recognized world heritage site in Syria where Islamic State terrorists blew up several monuments dating back to ancient times. On Friday, Palestinians torched Joseph’s Tomb, a Jewish holy site in the West Bank city of Nablus.
“Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu continued. “Israel is the solution. We keep the status quo, we are the only ones who do so, and we will continue doing so responsibly and seriously.”