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Bennett to UN chief: International community must not serve terrorists’ agenda

PM expresses disappointment with international body for not condemning rocket attacks; says Israel works to maintain religious status quo on Temple Mount

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with UN General-Secretary Antonio Guteress at UN headquarters in New York, on September 27, 2021. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with UN General-Secretary Antonio Guteress at UN headquarters in New York, on September 27, 2021. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Saturday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and expressed his disappointment at the international body’s lack of condemnation over the recent rocket attacks from Gaza.

“The international community must not serve the agenda of terrorist organizations. Israel is the stabilizing force,” Bennett told Guterres, according to a statement from his office.

“If we had not established order [at the Temple Mount], tens of thousands of Muslims would not have been able to pray.”

This week’s rocket attacks ended an almost four-month period of quiet on the Gaza border.

The last few days have seen violent clashes between Palestinian rioters and police on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, leading to the injury of dozens of Palestinians and several police officers.

Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups have repeatedly invoked the flashpoint holy site as a red line. Police actions to quell riots there last year were among the triggers of an 11-day war in Gaza last May.

Bennett also told Guterres that the unrest on Temple Mount was driven by “people who had prepared rocks and Molotov cocktails beforehand.”

The two also discussed the secretary general’s expected trip to Russia and Ukraine next week, and ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the war between Moscow and Kyiv.

Guterres’s office said he and Bennett discussed tensions around Jerusalem holy sites, and efforts to “end provocations and unilateral steps, and restore calm.”

Guterres “reiterated that the status quo at the holy sites must be upheld and respected,” his office said, referring to the Temple Mount.

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