Lapid to French FM: We won’t change Temple Mount status quo

Israel will not allow a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, including international observers, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday.

The two met in Paris, after France submitted a proposal to the UN Security Council calling for international observers on the Temple Mount.

After the meeting, Lapid said, "I just spoke at length with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius about the tensions in Israel and in Jerusalem. I made it clear beyond any doubt that Israel will not allow any change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, we protect sacred places for all religions.”

“The French Foreign Minister understands this very well,” continued Lapid. “The French are friends of Israel, they understand that the idea of ​​placing international observers on the Temple Mount is not accepted by either side and updated me that they would not promote this initiative. During the conversation Fabius reiterated the friendship and deep relationship between France and Israel, and said France wants to help as much as possible to lower the violence and flames in the region.”

Earlier this week, French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to be rebuked over the French proposal on the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the call for international observers on the holiest site in Judaism, by saying at a Security Cabinet on Sunday night that in the proposal "there is no mention of Palestinian incitement, there is no mention of Palestinian terrorism."

"There is a call for the internationalization of the holy places. We've seen what happens to the holy places in the Middle East – what has happened at Palmyra, what is happening around Iraq and Syria, and elsewhere – that radical Muslims are destroying each other's mosques, not to mention the Christian sites, world heritage sites, Jewish sites."

Netanyahu emphasized that the status quo on the Mount – by which the Jordanian Waqf continues to enjoy de facto control and ban Jewish prayer in violation of Israeli law – is not being changed by Israel, but rather is being breached by Arab rioters turning Al-Aqsa Mosque into a terror den.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)


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