President Rivlin: “The Temple Mount is being held hostage by people who want to bring about a religious war. We cannot allow this. Israel has no war with Islam.”
President Rivlin spoke off the murder of Avraham Hasano in a terror attack today: “Earlier, we suffered further loss of life, in the bloody struggle which has been forced upon us – we will fight against this ongoing terror, without fear, united within, firmly and decisively.
President Reuven Rivlin this afternoon (Wednesday) met at his residence with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Following their meeting, both the President and the Secretary General delivered statements to the media.
President Rivlin welcomed Sec. Gen Ban and said, “We very much appreciate your commitment to this region.”
He went on to say that, “The Temple Mount is being held hostage by people who want to bring about a religious war. We cannot allow this. Israel has no war with Islam.”
With regard to the arrangements on the Temple Mount, President Rivlin stressed “Israel has not, and will not, change one letter of the status quo agreement. The agreement was not meant to divide the different faiths, but to build understanding. Israel will continue to respect the rights of the Muslim worshippers, and the holiness of the site.”
He continued to speak of the important role of the UN in the region. He said, “The United Nations and all its institutions have a responsibility to work against any escalation of the conflict. UNESCO must reject any attempt to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount.”
The President added, “It is important that every step taken will not be seen as giving a prize to terrorism, by making this an international conflict. It is up to the parties of the region, to find the way to bring an end to this tragedy. All my life, I have believed, and worked for the sake, of coexistence between Arabs and Jews. I believe that Jerusalem is a microcosm of our ability to live together – Jews, Muslims, Christians – in Israel and across the region. What we will be able to build here can stand as an example to the whole world.
The President went on to note that he was about to depart on an official state visit to the Czech Republic, and spoke in reference to the terror attack earlier in the day, in which Avraham Hasano was murdered. He said, “Following this meeting, I will be departing to make an official visit to the Czech Republic, one of our greatest friends in Europe. These are difficult days for the citizens of Israel. Earlier, we suffered further loss of life, in the bloody struggle which has been forced upon us – we will fight against this ongoing terror; united within, without fear, firmly, and decisively. Precisely at times such as these, we must not neglect our international relations, and must continue to speak in each and every forum, to make clear Israel’s position.”