Israel is not the problem at the Temple Mount, but rather the solution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday morning's cabinet meeting, rebuffing a French proposal to place international observers at the holy site.
“We are preserving the status quo,” he said. “We are the only ones doing that, and will continue to do this responsibly and seriously.”
He reiterated what he has been saying for weeks, that the only change in the status quo has been efforts organized by the Israeli Islamic Movement and other “outside forces” to bring explosives into the mosques on the site and “attack Jews from them.”
This is the change in the status quo that has caused all the events there over the last year, he said.
Netanyahu said that Israel rejected the French proposal put forward at the UN Security Council, and pointed out that it did not mention Palestinian incitement or terror.
There is, however, a call in the proposal to “internationalize the holy sites.”
Netanyahu said that everyone has seen what happens to holy sites in the the Middle East, “what happened in Palmyra [Syria], what happened in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere where Muslim extremists destroy each other's mosques, to say nothing about Christian, Jewish and heritage sites.”
Netanyahu said that Israel was acting in an aggressive and systematic manner against the wave of terrorism
through the reinforcement of security forces, and taking both deterrent and punitive steps.
“Today we will begin taking steps against incitement, including against the Islamic Movement, which is the foremost inciters,” he said, adding that Israel will take action against that group's source of funding. The security cabinet is expected to meet later on Sunday to discuss this matter.
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