Israel is extending its hand in peace to the Palestinians and is not violating the status quo on the Temple Mount, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told top US officials in Washington on Monday night.
Speaking at a memorial ceremony for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Israeli Embassy in the American capital, Ya'alon noted that "the State of Israel is not violating the status quo on the Temple Mount, whatsoever. This is a lie. We uphold freedom of religion and respect the beliefs of every person."
Ya'alon is scheduled to meet with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who "has time and again proven his commitment to the security of the State of Israel," according the the Israeli minister.
The two are set to dicuss "how to further increase the IDF’s capacity and capabilities to maintain our qualitative edge, given increased and growing regional threats on the security of our country," Ya'alon said.