U.S. State Department Criticizes Ben Gvir For “Provocative” Visit To The Temple Mount

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U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller criticized National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s “provocative” Sunday visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, accusing the minister of using “inflammatory rhetoric” and politicizing the holy site. Ben Gvir unabashedly said that his visit was intended to send a message, declaring, “We are in charge here.” He previously visited the site in January which drew quick condemnation from multiple Arab nations and the U.S.  Ben Gvir’s recent visit was no different with Palestinian Authority presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh calling it a “blatant attack” on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said it was “a provocative step that is condemned, and a dangerous and unacceptable escalation.”  Israel retook the Temple Mount during the Six Day War in 1967 but since then has followed a “status quo” arrangement with Jordan so that Jews and other non-Muslims may visit but not pray on the Mount.