Israel and Palestinians in holy site war of words

BBC.com reports: “Israeli and Palestinian envoys have traded accusations at a UN meeting over an Israeli minister’s visit to a contested holy site in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian ambassador said Israel displayed ‘absolute contempt’ for the international community, and demanded the UN take action.

His Israeli counterpart accused the Palestinians of mounting ‘a poisonous campaign’ to erase Jewish history.

The minister’s visit on Tuesday was seen by Palestinians as provocative.

It was made by Israel’s new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right political leader known for past anti-Arab statements and once convicted of incitement to racism.

Mr Ben-Gvir’s visit was his first public act since the government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was sworn in five days earlier.

The hilltop site is the most sacred place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. It is known to Jews as the Temple Mount, site of two Biblical temples, and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, the site of Muhammad’s ascent to Heaven. The entire compound is considered to be al-Aqsa Mosque by Muslims…”

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