Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought to reassure the Muslim world on Thursday that this week’s Knesset debate on extending soverignty over Har Habayis would not affect the status quo.
“The policy of the government of Israel has been and continues to be the maintenance of the status quo … including freedom of access for all faiths to the holy sites,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev told The Jerusalem Post. “The government has no intention of changing this policy.”
Regev’s comments followed the unprecedented Knesset debate on Tuesday that predictably inflamed Muslim passions and prompted violent disturbances at the holy site.
The Arab League met in an “extraordinary meeting” in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the issue, reflecting the extent to which the rhetoric of some Israeli MK’s irked them.
Palestinians requested the special session to discuss Israel’s purported aggression in the area, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.