Middle East

Restrictions at Al-Aqsa protect against ‘your terrorist organisation’, Israel envoy to UN tells Arab journalist

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, told a press conference yesterday that the occupied West Bank is “Judea and Samaria” and “these are not occupied lands… this is the land of Israel.”

Asked about Israeli occupation forces’ brutal attack on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and whether he believed Palestinians should “embrace the occupation”, especially after witnessing unarmed civilians being killed at point blank range, Erdan replied: “I don’t want to argue with you, this is Judea and Samaria.”

“This is the lands of our ancestors, these are not occupied lands. Jerusalem in particular is not occupied. This is the land of Israel. We are not occupiers, neither in Jerusalem nor anywhere else.”

He added that “under the sovereignty of Israel, the freedom of worship has continued to be guaranteed. This is what is happening now on the Temple Mount. And every Friday, tens of thousands of worshippers come.”

However one of the journalists submitted an official complaint to the United Nations Syndicate of Journalists and demanded that it take a position on the Israeli ambassador’s attack on an Al-Quds Al-Arabi journalist after Erdan said restriction on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa were in place “to ensure security against your terrorist organisations.”

READ: UN chief reiterates call to preserve status quo in Jerusalem

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