State Dept. Backtracks: No Violation of Temple Mount Status Quo

After accusing Israel of violating the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well as using "excessive force" against Arab terrorists, US State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a semi-retraction. 

At a daily briefing on Wednesday, Kirby essentially blamed Arab terror on Israeli policies over the Mount, claiming "well, certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of violence."

Top Israeli ministers were quick to lash out at the State Department, including Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who accused it of "accept[ing] lies…without investigation" as well as harboring a longstanding animosity toward Israel. 

"The statements of the US State Department spokesman are so absurd and twisted that I expect President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to shake them off and clarify the US' position," Erdan added. 

Several hours after the briefing, Kirby posted a statement on his Twitter feed, reading: "Clarification from today's briefing: I did not intend to suggest that status quo at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary – ed.) has been broken."

"We welcome both Israel's & Jordan's commitment to continued maintenance of status quo at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."

Kirby did not however make reference to the allegations of Israel using "excessive force" to subdue terrorists, which Israeli Defense Minister slammed on Thursday as "nonsense."

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/201943

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