The Biden administration has reportedly been warned by Israeli officials against intervening in the ongoing conflict at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan was told by his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat that “international intervention is a reward to the Palestinian rioters and those who back them who were seeking international pressure on Israel,” Axios reported Monday. The White House left Ben-Shabbat’s reported comment out of their call readout.
Sullivan expressed his concern about the Israeli response to the Al-Aqsa Mosque protest, which escalated into a riot.
Palestinians chant “bomb bomb Tel Aviv” from Judaism’s holiest site and the site of Al Aqsa mosque.
— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר (@emilykschrader) May 8, 2021
Sullivan, according to the readout, “encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations” being held on Monday.
Ben-Shabbat reportedly responded by ensuring that Israel is handling the conflict “from a position of sovereignty and responsibility regardless of Palestinian provocations.”
The tensions in the conflict soared over the climax of a decades-long legal fight surrounding the legal ownership rights of East Jerusalem apartments. Courts ruled that the Sheikh Jarrah apartments belonged to the Jewish owners who were forced out by the Jordanians during the 1948 War of Independence. Under a 1970 Israeli law, Jews are allowed to reclaim East Jerusalem land they owned before 1948.
Israel’s Supreme Court postponed a key ruling Monday in one of the legal cases, citing the heightened tensions.
In response to the decision, violent riots broke out on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. Israeli police used riot-dispersal means to deal with the violence and dozens of Palestinians were injured.
More than 200 people were injured in clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque as tensions flare over the potential eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers https://t.co/YQ87lXaMmx pic.twitter.com/9ou0S7Bas2
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 8, 2021
Both Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs the Gaza strip, and Fatah, the political party that dominates the Palestinian Authority, have called for increased violence against Israel in the wake of tensions. (RELATED: Parts Of Southern Israel Go Into Lockdown, Knesset Evacuates, As Hamas Sends A Hail Of 150 Rockets)
Hamas sent 150 rockets from Gaza Monday evening after the terror group gave Israel a 6 p.m. local time ultimatum to remove troops from Al-Aqsa. The rocket fire forced cities in Southern Israel to lock down and the Knesset to be temporarily evacuated.
Israel’s Iron Dome intercepts rockets fired by Hamas in Gaza
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 10, 2021
Israelis took to the streets Monday to celebrate Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem in the aftermath of 1967’s Six-Days-War, when Israel won the Old City from Jordan.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the White House is “continuing to closely monitor the violence in Israel.”